In parallel with the abandonment of nuclear power generation, the North Sea off the coast of Germany is being turned into “Europe’s green power plant”. A total of nine countries are planning on installing 120 Gigawatts of offshore wind power by the end of 2030 and an offshore wind power capacity of 300 GW is even expected to be achieved by the end of 2050.
Cometto and its vehicle technology are playing a supporting role in this ambitious project. “This is already very visible in the current construction of the offshore wind farms “Gode Wind 03” with a capacity of 242 Megawatts and “Borkum Riffgrund 03” with a capacity of 900 Megawatts. Both are expected to go online in spring 2025,” says Joachim Kolb, Sales Manager of Cometto.
Offshore elements on various Cometto vehicles
The Danish renewable energy giant Ørsted Wind Power A/S is having the components for this project produced by various manufacturers in different countries. “The monopiles come, for example, from Steelwind of Nordenham in North Germany, where the load-out takes place with the aid of 72 Cometto SPMT axle-lines and three power pack units, each with an output of 368 Kilowatts,” says Joachim Kolb, referring to one of the locations where the self-propelled vehicle technology from Cometto is in use.
Monopiles are also produced in parallel at Bladt Industries A/S in Munkebo, Denmark. “A gigantic fleet of self-propelled Cometto transport vehicles is in operation there, too, so that the entire production process is secured”, says Joachim Kolb, describing the field of activity there. “Here, in addition to the SPMT, there are two compact 2-axle Eco1000s with PPU underneath the loading platform for the transport of the circumferential weld millers, as well as two 5-axle ETL industrial transporters with driver’s cab underneath the loading platform for the transport of the sheet metal plates.”
To and from the ship via Cometto SPMT
At both locations the monopiles are loaded onto barges. These are then towed to Eemshaven in the Netherlands, where Cometto is once again on the scene. “At the offshore base terminal of BOW Terminal, the steel giants weighing up to 2,100 tons are received by 76 Cometto SPMT axle-lines for unloading. These are used and operated by Q3 Heavy Lifting. And that closes a gigantic transport chain – a logistical masterpiece,” says Joachim Kolb of this functioning transport circulation.
Vincent de Wilde, CEO of Q3 Heavy Lifting, is full of praise for the self-propelled vehicle from the Faymonville Group. “With our hydraulically adjustable load securing system for the monopiles, we are able to drive under such an element on the barge, to lift it and to bring it ashore, all within an hour. 60 minutes is the natural timeframe that the North Sea allows us with a tide of 2.80 meters in Eemshaven. But with the Cometto SPMT and our well-rehearsed team we are very well set-up – propelled to the MAX!”
“Without SPMT? Neither conceivable nor doable”
As soon as the starting gun is fired for the installation of the wind power plants on the high seas, Q3 Heavy Lifting transports the monopiles from the storage place to the quay with its Cometto SPMT combination, where the offshore installation ship takes up these steel giants from the SPMT with the onboard crane. Vincent de Wild concludes: “It should be emphasized here that projects of this order of magnitude would neither be conceivable nor doable without this transport technology from Cometto.”