Schmidbauer to build offshore wind farm

German-based Schmidbauer, along with French partner EDF Renouvelables, are building the Provence Grand Large offshore wind farm off the coast of the Marseille region in France. The wind turbines are being erected on floating platforms.

The future-oriented floating facilities are a solution for previously unusable sea locations (Photo: Schmidbauer)

For this project, Schmidbauer has purchased an Liebherr LR 11350 crawler crane with a 150 metre power boom.

From April 2023, the team on site will take over the logistics within the harbour area as well as the assembly of the plant components.

Three 8.4 MW wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy are to be erected on pyramid-shaped floating foundations. The assembled wind turbines will be towed by tugboats to another port, where Schmidbauer will assist in the preparation for commissioning with a 130 tonne mobile crane. Towed into the open sea, the three turbines will then be installed at their final location.

Unique prototype

This floating foundation of the wind turbine is a unique prototype worldwide, the company said, and places special demands on the engineering.

“To handle projects of this magnitude, you need the right equipment. But more important is intelligent engineering for solution concepts with flexibility,” said Stefan Schmidbauer, managing director and technical director of the Heavy Lift division.

“The real challenge of the project is that the entire construction of the floating foundations are prototypes. Therefore, we have been involved with the client in planning and engineering for over three years. We have been supporting the construction of many onshore and offshore wind farms from the very beginning. This particular project shows where the technology to even more efficient wind power takes us,” added managing director Werner Schmidbauer.

Moving parts

The harbour area is the main setting for the pilot project. The crane area in the harbour is being reinforced according to Schmidbauer’s specifications and a load-distribution concept is being implemented. Schmidbauer is laying 3km of Bongossi mats plus several steel plates. A 400 tonne capacity crawler crane will work alongside the 1,350 tonne crawler crane as a superstructure and tracking crane in order for the auxiliary crane to work on other lifting work including erecting the plant components.

In addition, 40 SPMT axle lines are on the move to control the logistics from the component storage to the erection area of the wind turbine.

Approximately 150 truckloads will deliver the LR11350, the CC2400-1, the SPMTs and the load-distribution mats.

The first hub is scheduled for the beginning of June 2023.

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