Effective works Phase 2 - 3

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2012 : week 18

All the wind turbines are erected offshore on jacket foundations. A jacket foundation is a steelstructure of tubulars designed to support the windturbines. The height of a jacket varies between 40 and 50 m. The construction of the 48 jacket foundations of the project started in Januari 2011. 9 months later the first 24 jackets for area B were assembled. The construction of the 24 jackets for area A followed immediately hereafter in September 2012. 7 months later, April the 1st 2012, they are all assembled. So in a total of 16 months all 48 jacket foundations were build.        

The pile driving works started in area B of the windfarm on Wednesday 6th of April 2011. Steel piles of 40 to 50 m are driven into the seabed by a hammer installation mounted on the jack up platform Buzzard. These so called "pin-piles" are the anchors to seal the jacket foundations into the seabed. The length of the piles depends on the soil conditions. To assure the correct locations of the piles a template is lowered onto the seabed. On Sunday August the 21st 2011 all pile driving works for the project were complete which means that 196 piles were driven into the seabed in about 4,5 months.        

The jacket foundation installation for the offshore transformer station, (OTS), was executed on the 15th of August 2011.         

The Heavy Lift Vessel "Rambiz" installed the first jacket foundation for the windturbines in area B on Sunday 12/06/2011 and on Tuesday 14/06/2011 this foundation was grouted to the pin-piles. On 28/09/2011, so after a period of 3,5 months, all the 24 foundations of area B were successfully installed and grouted. The Rambiz was again mobilised to start on 2/03/2012 the foundations installation in area A and today 15 jackets are already installed.        

The 33 kV infield cables of area B, making the future connection between the wind turbines, were picked up in Karlskrona, Sweden, on the 23th of July 2011 and were transported to Zeebruge by the cable lay vessel CS Sovereign. The infield cable laying works for area B started on 12/08/11 and were completed on 3/11/2011. A cable burial vessel, called the Innovator,  jetted down these cables into the seabed. Two teams of special trained people did the final hang off of the cables in the WTG foundations. The production of the infield cables for area A is now complete in Karlskrona.        

The 150 kV export cable was manufactured in Karlskrona, Sweden. The factory acceptance tests were carried out on 13/03/2012. This export cable is the second connection between the windfarm and the land cables. The cable lay vessel "Stemat Spirit" loaded the cable in Karlskrona between 22 and 29/03/2012, sailed to and arrived in the port of Ostend on 4/04/2012. The vessel beached at the cable landing area and the export cable B was pulled on land through the HDD pipe on 11/04/2012. On 22/04/2012 the complete 38,7 km of export 150 kV cable was laid down on the sea bed between the coast and the Offshore Transformer Station. The vessel Pearl River is backfilling the cable trench. The trajectory of the export cable in the shallow waters will be jetted down into the seabed. The 150 kV export cable pull in in the OTS is now ongoing.        

A dredging vessel, the "Breughel", finished the dredging in the shipping lane "Vaargeul 1", to prepare part of the trench for the 150 kV export cable, which trajectory is crossing this shipping lane.         

The Offshore Transformer Station sailed out from the fabrication yard in Schiedam to the Thorntonbank site on the 15th of March 2012 and was installed on the OTS foundation on 16/03/2012.         

Following productions for the wind turbines are ongoing: the towers by AMBAU-Cuxhaven Germany,  the blades by LM Glasfiber Holding Denmark, the generators by VEM Germany and the gearboxes by 2 constructors, WINERGY-Vörde Germany and HANSEN-Belgium. The onshore offloading, assembling and loading site for the windturbine components of REpower in the harbour of Ostend is ready to receive the wind turbine components. The first set of blades arrived on the onshore site of Ostend on 2/03/2012 and the first batch with 3 towers, hubs and nacelles on 7/03/2012. Every week new turbine components are arriving in Ostend.        

A jack up transport and installation platform, the Neptune, sailed out on 18/03/2012 to the Thorntonbank for the first WTG erection. On 21/03/2012 the first wind turbine was installed. Today 10 of the 30 wind turbines are erected. Special teams are now executing the terminations of the infield cables into the wind turbines.        

Directional drillings were executed on land for the 150 kV land cables and the cable laying onshore is complete. These cables make the connection between the offshore windfarm and the sub-station of Elia onshore. The connections of the cables into the Elia sub-station are complete. Electrical commissioning tests on the complete onshore cable connections are successfully completed. The new export sea cable and the new land cable are jointed together.        

The horizontal directional drilling under the dunes for the onshore landing of the second export cable coming from the windfarm offshore transformer station has been successfully completed on 5/3/2012.