February 24 - Vanguard has been awarded the turbine transport and installation contract for the Nojoli wind farm near Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

The Nojoli project comprises 44 Vestas V100 2 MW wind turbines, which will have the capacity to generate electricity for over 86,000 South African households per year.

The contract began in December 2015 with the unloading of cargo from a vessel at the Port of Ngqura for temporary storage; a second vessel carrying wind turbine components arrived in January 2016. Further vessels are expected throughout 2016, with the contract scheduled to run until June of this year.

The scope of Vanguard's work includes discharge and storage at the South African port, as well as transport of all components to the site and erection of the turbines using the company's GTK1100 crane.

With nacelles weighing up to 72 tonnes, 21-tonne hubs and turbine blades measuring up to 50 m long, Vanguard will utilise a large fleet of extendable and multi-axle trailers to transport the components to the wind farm site.

"Among the challenges to be managed on this route to site is a mountain pass with very narrow turns," said project and mechanical engineer Robbie Boshoff. "We work with the traffic authorities to close off the pass entirely, so that our extendable trailers can safely use the whole road to manoeuvre the blades through the turns."

The huge GTK crane will be assembled and disassembled for each turbine installation - a process that can take around ten hours, said Vanguard.