Intense activity at the Port of Esbjerg
The final month of the year has seen intense activity at Esbjerg in Denmark, the base port for DanTysk. The reason for this activity is the delivery and preassembly of 80 wind turbines and towers for the wind farm.
Some of the towers have already been assembled for the offshore plant. The tower of an offshore wind turbine is made up of three parts which are screwed together here in Esbjerg to form a complete structure that is 70 metres in height. These towers are steel tube towers, made of rolled steel plates which are welded together to form the individual tower sections. The towers have an average weight of 210 tonnes, making them the largest and heaviest part of the wind turbine. To get some idea of the size of these towers, they are about as high as a ferris wheel and as heavy as 42 full-grown African elephants.
Half of the gondolas for DanTysk are already in the Port of Esbjerg too and are currently being prepared for offshore use. As part of this process, the helihoist platforms are being mounted for helicopter access, as are all the signal lamps, wind measurement technology and hubs. The rotor blades are individually installed offshore at a later date. Each and every process that can be prepared on land is safely carried out on land. This is to reduce offshore risks at the installation stage.
"Due to the delay in connecting to the grid, we have postponed the installation of the turbines until spring 2014," said Project Director Ole Bigum-Nielsen. "This allows us to reduce the amount of servicing work on the turbines that are already installed offshore." We would have liked to stick to our schedule and start commissioning at the beginning of 2014. However, we now need to keep in step with the completion of the offshore grid connection.
The base port in Esbjerg, situated right on the North Sea coast, is an important hub for other offshore wind farms besides DanTysk. From its control centre in the port, Vattenfall maintains and controls approx. 900 turbines in its onshore and offshore wind farms in five European European countries – which will later be joined by DanTysk.