Wind blades dropped overboard during Ormonde maintenance
Wind turbine blades and additional components ended up in the sea while a jackup vessel was conducting scheduled maintenance works at the Ormonde offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea. MPI Adventure dropped three 61-metre turbine blades, a clamping tool and a rotor into the sea.
According to a Kingfisher notice to mariners, the MPI Adventure, a vessel of Van Oord’s MPI Offshore, was conducting the maintenance works. Jacked up alongside Ormonde WTG B01, MPI Adventure dropped the blades and rotor weighing a total 126 tons and the 3100-kg clamping tool.
The notice further states that debris can be found on the seabed adjacent to the vessel and WTG B01 while the debris that fractured off from all blades has reached the shoreline. It is further stated that the debris linked to the incident could be widespread.
The vessel arrived on location on October 11 for maintenance works and the AIS data shows it is still on site. A video of the incident circulated the social media.
Kijk en huiver. pic.twitter.com/7bt6UIgf6L
— EMK-vissers (@EMKvissers) October 23, 2021
Vattenfall, the operator and partner in the Ormonde wind farm located some 10 kilometres off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness in the North-West of the UK, has launched an investigation into the incident. “An incident during planned maintenance at Ormonde offshore wind farm resulted in components falling into the sea. No-one was injured, but we alerted the relevant authorities immediately and we have launched a full investigation,” a Vattenfall spokesperson told Project Cargo Journal.
“In addition to determining what happened, our attention is focused on ensuring that any debris in the sea or washing up onshore is cleaned up as quickly as possible. We have also set up special reporting telephone line so that anyone who spots any debris washed up on land can alert our clean-up teams. They will then identify and remove it as quickly as possible.”
In a subsequent environmental notice, Vattenfall added that the debris is not harmful but it is best not to touch it, just to make sure everyone stays accident free. Vattenfall further stressed it is working on cleaning everything up as fast as possible, and has released an image with examples of debris as well as the aforementioned phone number (0333 4141 912).
In 2015 Vattenfall entered a partnership with Swedish pension group AMF. The partnership agreement means that AMF own a 49 percent share. Vattenfall continue to operate the wind farm as the majority shareholder. The site has been operational since 2011 and boasts 30 wind turbines with a total capacity of 150 megawatts.