Technotex/Ultralift, a division of Unitex supporting Industry Manufacturer to the Cargo Equipment Experts global network for asset based companies, active in the heavy cargo transport market, assists 14 miles off the coast of Suffolk, UK, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, presently under construction. Scheduled for completion in 2012, the Greater Gabbard wind farm’s 140 turbines will generate 500 megawatts of electricity for the people of London. With a load factor of greater than 40%, the estimated output is 1.9 TWh per year.
To provide peak performance in 35-yard seas, each turbine is being installed on top of a 65-meter “monopile” which weigh approximately 650-metric tons each.
Verbrugge Zeeland Terminal oversees the lifting operations during this transfer. After some research, their safety officers and engineers came upon ULTRALIFT™ round slings with Dyneema® fiber, manufactured by Technotex, (Coevorden, NL). The ULTRALIFT™ slings carry the CE mark, certifying their safety, and are rated for 180 metric tons (WLL) and 15 metric tons (EWL).
The Technotex ULTRALIFT™ round sling offered the same strength as steel wire, chain, with a significant weight reduction—one-seventh of the weight of steel wire rope. In addition, they offer higher stiffness (no elastic response while lifting) and are smaller in diameter for improved handling and flexibility of positioning.
Beyond safety, the ULTRALIFT™ slings are also contributing to better handling of the expensive monopiles. Because the slings are soft, they avoid damaging the monopiles during the lifting operations. All the work done to-date strongly confirms the prognoses of safe and damage-free handling, cost savings as well as durability.
Photo courtesy CEE