PCS 2022: deugro finding the right project logistics concept
The goal to make the project logistics as efficient as possible is what got the specialist in the field, deugro, to devise a solution back in 2015 with its client Siemens Gamesa that we now know as the Rotra concept. A solution that focuses on a very efficient distribution of components for wind turbines for the client.
Speaking during the Project Cargo Summit, Hans Henrik Groen, Branch Manager of deugro Denmark noted that there was a clear demand for the use of RoRo technology back in 2015 for Siemens Gamesa. The vessels have since been upgraded at the Holland Shipyards Group’s facilities in Delfzijl and Hardinxveld-Giessendam, and are deployed on two large projects in the Netherlands, the Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ) and the Hollandse Kust Noord.
deugro increasing safety while boosting efficiency
Groen notes that the use of RoRo vessels eliminated the lifting operations wherever possible. “If you look at the wind turbine industry in general, from the very birth of a wind turbine in a factory, whether it ends up at an offshore or onshore construction site, it is associated with many lifts of heavy components. Of course, from a safety point of view, having the ability to use RoRo (solution) makes it even more efficient, and safer,” he stressed.
However, not all lifting operations can be avoided as even the Rotra vessels can carry wind blades on its overhead gantries. But Groen notes that there are a lot of locations where lifting operations can not be avoided. However, when it comes to the heavy components, like the nacelles, it is safer to deploy the SMPT technology.
deugro can rely on its handling equipment partners as the Rotra vessels are equipped with SPMTs, meaning that they are not depending on the ports having this technology available when the components are rolled on or off the vessels.
Ready for the future
Speaking in May for Project Cargo Journal, Groen noted that offshore wind turbines and associated equipment is getting bigger, heavier and more complicated with the biggest challenge now being a logistics one, namely, how to enable the vessels to have the highest intake.
During the Project Cargo Summit he further stressed that the upgrades carried out recently will enable the vessels to perform efficiently at least through to the mid-2020s, namely 2025 and 2026. The vessels have been modified to have the larger intake and to transport larger components based on client’s demands.
As it is expected for the components to grow, this poses a new challenge for logistics service providers. As wind turbines get more efficient and their capacity grows, projects may need less units, but the components will be bigger, which means that there will be a need to balance between the intake capacity of the vessels and optimised stowage plan for the client.
Looking at the potential of using bigger vessels within the same concept developed for Siemens Gamesa, Groen adds that this raises the question of finding suitable vessels that could be reconfigured and rebuilt. The client has already formed a partnership with SAL Heavy Lift, with an eye on the future, and the carrierc, together with its partner Jumbo Maritime responded with a new generation heavy lift vessels it named the Orca Class. Four vessels have been ordered at the Chinese Wuhu Shipyard, with an option for additional two vessels.
Scheduled for delivery starting in mid-2024, the first two ships will be exclusively involved in the transportation of offshore wind turbine components in a long-term commitment with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Two additional sister vessels will enter the premium heavy lift shipping market to serve the clients of the Jumbo-SAL-Alliance in the first half of 2025, SAL Heavy Lift said earlier.
Optimising project logistics
We could already hear during the Project Cargo Summit that there is a need for modern and efficient tonnage on the market, and it could be said that the Orca Class vessels are also a response to that demand. However, Hans Henrik Groen adds that now there is also a need for making the project logistics even more efficient.
“One of the most costly things you seen in the offshore wind industry is the jack-up and wind turbine installation vessels. To my latest knowledge, they have a daily rate of €150,000 to €200,000. Keeping that big installation vessel at sea would make it more cost efficient,” he says.
Groen believes that the feeder concept, something that is being looked at currently by many, is the option for the future. The installation vessels would remain at sea as long as possible while having the necessary components delivered by feeder ships.
He also stressed the importance of building tight relationships with OEMs in the wind industry, and helping them as a project logistics forwarder to design their logistics footprint properly. There is a large wave of new projects across the globe and a project logistics provider can help their customers by making smarter end-to-end logistics solutions with less handling.
“Maybe thinking like a supermarket, how we would distribute a Mars bar from the warehouse to the store, and think in the same way in our business, even though the components are much, much bigger and heavier,” says Groen.
He stressed that it is the obligation of the industry, and deugro as a project logistics provider to help in creating smarter logistics solutions. And this is not only limited to the wind industry, but any trade requiring transport of project cargo from A to B.