Heerema modifies Thialf cranes for Baltic Sea project

Heerema reported on Friday that it is currently modifying Thialf’s cranes capable of lifting 14,200 metric tons. The semi-submersible crane vessel is being prepared for wind turbine installation in the Baltic Sea in 2022.

Heerema will be installing 27 wind turbines for Parkwind’s Arcadis Ost I wind farm in the Baltic Sea with Thialf, using their novel Rotor Nacelle Assembly (RNA) installation method.

Obstacle on the route to the Baltic Sea

The route between Heerema’s home base in the Port of Rotterdam and the Arcadis Ost project location, however, poses a challenge. The Thialf has to pass Denmark’s Storebaelt Bridge, also known as the Swan. It connects the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen and has a clearance of 65 meters, while from Thialf’s floaters to the top of the vessel’s A-frames is a huge 105 meters.

A-frame modification

To ensure the Thialf can access the Baltic Sea without compromising the integrity of the 14,200 metric ton cranes, Heerema decided to modify Thialf’s A-frames.

An artist’s impression of what would happen if we tried our luck getting under the bridge

The modification of the A-Frames is currently taking place in the Port of Rotterdam. This action is possible as Thialf’s A-frames already have hingable corners that can accommodate the NOV custom-designed semi-permanent adjustment system. Using this system, Heerema can lower Thialf’s cranes and fold the A-frames to create a sufficient air gap when combined with ballasting between the vessel and the Storebaelt Bridge. Now that Thialf will be working in the region the lifting capacity has increased by around 10,000 metric tons

The project was a Heerema Group effort as Heerema Fabrication Group’s Opole Yard completed most of the fabrication work. The team fabricated around 150 metric tons of structures required for the modification. Source: Heerema

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