December 4 - deugro Danmark and Siemens Wind Power have agreed a long term contract for the transport of forthcoming offshore wind turbine projects, extending the strong cooperation the two companies have had for many years.

In an official statement, deugro said it is working with Siemens to bring down costs in the transportation of offshore wind turbines.

The freight forwarder says that when it first started working on this project, it realised there was no bespoke solution available on the market that met the project requirements. The dimensions and weights called for innovation and the solution was to redesign vessels to make them fit for the purpose, it added.

Now the company says that two newly built ro-ro vessels will handle the shipments, adding that the minimisation of crane usage will save costs and increase safety significantly. 

The vessels, each with a length of approximately 140 m, will be built by Concordia Group of the Netherlands and will be used by deugro Danmark to link Siemens' existing production locations in Denmark with the new production facilities in Cuxhaven, Germany and Hull, UK.

Instead of loading the rotor blades, which can be up to 75 m long and nacelles weighing around 360 tonnes by crane, the large and heavy components will be rolled on and off of these vessels.

The vessels are designed to be multi-flexible to allow for both ro-ro and lo-lo operations and at the same time keep cargo under deck.

The companies say that optimising the means of transport is an important step in reducing the cost of energy in the supply chain. The next step is to reduce costs in the actual logistics, where they also see room for improvement, both in the transportation of wind turbine generators, as well as in the field of foundations and installation.

Siemens estimates cost savings of 15 - 20 percent compared to current transport procedures, depending on the location of the offshore wind power plant. 

"With our new logistics concept for D7 offshore wind turbines, we continue to leverage innovation and industrialisation on our journey to lower the cost of offshore wind energy to below 10 cents per kwh," states Michael Hannibal, ceo offshore, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. "Our new production facilities are located directly at harbours to allow advanced ro-ro handling and cost efficient shipping of heavy components. This solution will enable us to save up to one fifth of the costs in the transportation chain, depending on the location of the specific offshore wind project."

One of the purpose-built vessels will be able to transport eight nacelles of the current Siemens D7 wind turbine platform at a time and will be launched as early as the third quarter of 2016.

The second vessel will accommodate up to 12 rotor blades and transport them from the production facility in Hull, UK, or from Aalborg, Denmark, to the respective installation port.