Modulift’s Expansion into Wind Energy Sector Accelerates with Wind Tower Lift in South America

Wind Energy

The rise in renewable energy sources has accelerated demand for Modulift spreader beams to lift turbines, towers and monopiles at onshore and offshore wind farms worldwide. As part of this expansion, global ship operator G2 Ocean deployed a Modulift Spreader Beam to Colombia for the lift of a 63mt Nordex Wind Tower.

Colombia provides good conditions for wind power generation, with wind forces of around 9m/s. G2 Ocean assembled a MOD 250 Spreader Beam on-site in the north of Colombia, the location of most wind farms in the country due to the position off the Caribbean coast. The cylindrical Nordex TS105 wind tower sections were successfully lifted from the Star Lysefjord vessel to Puerto Brisa, a small cargo terminal in the north.

MOD 250 spreader beam lifting wind tower section

“Conditions at the port were challenging” said Richard Stannard, Senior Equipment Manager at G2 Ocean “The remote location and lack of infrastructure at the port raised concerns about how we could safely lift and unload the tower sections. We were also working to a tight deadline, so time was of the essence.”

“The nearest port was Santa Marta, but due to issues with road transport from the port to the project site – largely clearance issues under bridges, we had to rethink how to get the tower sections to the site. Puerto Brisa was the next option but as it is a coal loading facility there were no cranes available at the terminal.”

To overcome this, the cranes on-board the ship were used to carry out the lift. The cylindrical Nordex TS105 tower sections measured 36 metres in length, with a 4.3m diameter and weight of approximately 63mt.

Stannard said “The heavier sections were loaded further forward on the deck and unloaded using the ship’s cranes in tandem. However, the upper sections could only be reached with one crane, which was achieved using the single 75mt crane.”

An additional challenge was low headroom, so the rigging had to be as short as possible. Stannard continued “There were limitations on the allowable sling angle at the load. We needed a 45-degree angle on the slings above the spreader beam.”

Taking this into account, the MOD250 was rigged at 18 metres, with a SWL of 91mt and 45-degree sling angle. Using a modular spreader beam also sped up the turnaround time – with the longest strut at only 6 metres and total component weight of 4mt, G2 Ocean were able to airfreight the beam to Colombia, transport it by road and easily assemble it on-site.

Sarah Spivey, Managing Director of Modulift said “With the surge in demand for renewable energy sources, Modulift is well positioned to respond quickly to the growing demand. With a global network of stock-holding distributors, we can deliver spreader beams on-site, quickly. G2 Ocean’s project presented several challenges which Modulift was able to help overcome. The modular design allowed for easy transportation, and the lack of headroom was not an issue as the rigging was able to be short. We were pleased G2 Ocean could deliver on this project safely and efficiently with the help of our products.”

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