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ALE utilises innovative barge for wind component load-out

ALE’s latest marine investment, the SARAH S barge, has been deployed on its inaugural job to transport transition pieces (TPs) as part an offshore wind project in the UK.

ALE was contracted to provide the specialist offshore engineering as well as the marine transportation, sea-fastening, load-out and ballasting of over 100 TPs for Ørsted’s Hornsea Project One, set to be the biggest wind farm in the world.

For the structural engineering, ALE utilised its in-house expertise and the Conbit team performed the structural integrity and sea fastening calculations of the grillages on the barge deck.

ALE began their heavy lifting and transportation scope in March, loading-out the TPs, each weighing 337t and measuring 25m high, from the fabrication yard onto the barge and performing the sea-fastening and marine transport.

Once on the SARAH S barge, the TPs are transported on the River Tees to the discharge berth. The SARAH S is 3m narrower than most North Sea barges, making this innovative barge ideal for this project, as it can fit between the quayside and the offshore installation vessel and falls in line with the vessels crane radius limits, for transferring the TPs from the barge to the installation vessel.

“This project demonstrates our ability to offer the full, specialist marine scope of work. From utilising our internal expertise and engineering unique solutions, to offering an extensive fleet and operative skills, we can manage the complete project,” explains Steve Small, Commercial Manager – Marine.

“We have the variety to select the most suitable vessel for the project location and scope, ensuring the client saves time and costs on the project.”

So far, ALE has loaded-out the first five TPs and successfully completed the first discharge onto the installation vessel. The operations are expected to last until the end of 2018.

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