Norwegian engineering and construction company Aibel’s shipyard in Thailand has completed the construction of the Dogger Bank A wind farm substation on top of the first HVDC converter platform exported from Thailand.
Loaded onto a BigLift heavy transport vessel, the Topside is now en route to Haugesund, Norway where further equipment will be installed prior to installation at the final offshore site at what will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank UK.
According to Aibel, the first steel for the project was cut in August 2020 during the global pandemic that had forced the entire engineering team to work from home.
“It also meant the site team at the shipyard in Thailand was sent back to Norway for three months and up to 160 people on site were quarantined at once. In addition to Covid-19 and subsequent restrictions, the project has been hit by delays due to the Suez Canal blockade and delayed steel deliveries due to a ship’s grounding in the Mediterranean. Recently, the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine has also created challenges,” Aibel said.
“There was enormous willingness and motivation from all sides, so that despite all the challenges we now have a module with a completion rate that surpasses previous projects in Thailand. Everyone can be proud of that,” he says to Aibel’s project manager for Dogger Bank, Per Tore Larsen.
He said: “The top was weighed at 6780.5 tons against a theoretical weight of 6779 tons. It is an incredible result and illustrates the good and close interaction between engineering and manufacturing.
While the previous module built at the shipyard in Thailand, Johan Sverdrup’s MSF module P2, was the heaviest ever moved in Thailand, the top of the Dogger Bank A is the largest, Aibel said.
Aibel’s site manager in Thailand, Frode Johan Saltvedt, said: “Roughly speaking, only the most important HVDC systems such as the large transformers, valves and converter reactors have to be installed in Haugesund.”
I work in Haugesund
The Topside is expected to arrive at the Haugesund shipyard in the second half of June, where it will be placed on the expanded Riggkai. This leaves several large lifts using large and small floating cranes to attach transformers, slings and hoists – in addition to many lifts of Hitachi equipment using the shipyard’s new tower crane.
Most of Aibel’s topside work will be completed with mechanical completion in November. The commissioning work will then remain until the expected end in spring 2023.