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INDUSTRY REVIEWONSHORE RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION


like being a repeat of 2018, with build dates for prospective sites being pushed through to 2020 and beyond.” Despite changing government policies in


many parts of the world, the onshore wind industry is continuing to become ever more global, a trend that is highlighted in the activities of leading heavy lift and project forwarding service providers active in this market. Carlos Moreno, ALE –Wind Services’


commercial manager, said the business is now “strongly positioned” in a range of countries across South America, Europe, southern Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australasia. The sector is also “starting to grow” in


Russia, Scandinavia, and both East and West Africa. “We are currently building 90 wind turbines in Thailand, 109 in Argentina, 12 in Spain, 13 in Oman, 15 in Kazakhstan, 21 in Indonesia and 60 in Australia,” he stated.


Increasing global scope ALE is not alone in observing evidence of the increasing global scope of onshore wind energy projects. Nicolai Andersen, global sector head, renewable energy, for global project freight forwarder DHL Industrial Projects, said the company has transported more than 1,000 turbines worldwide, including onshore projects over the last few years in Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Norway. “During 2018, we chartered over 40


vessels loaded with wind turbine components and we recently transported more than 300 blades in Brazil for a customer. Currently, we are coordinating the inland transport for a large wind farm in Australia,” he added. Meanwhile, onshore wind turbines are


continuing to increase in size and weight as manufacturers and wind farm developers seek to improve power generation efficiency and reduce costs. Coinciding with the development of


ever-larger turbines is a general expansion in the size of onshore wind farms in many parts of the world, and the number of such installations being built in remote and/or difficult-to-reach locations. The latter trend, for example, is


highlighted in one of the operations undertaken by French global logistics group Geodis. The company transported seven wind


turbines from Spain and Italy to a remote mountaintop location on the Caribbean island of Martinique. The ocean voyage was completed using a multipurpose heavy lift vessel plus specialised


www.heavyliftpfi.com


ro-ro tonnage mobilised from the USA. Geodis also used a bottleneck blade lifter,


49 m in length, for the 2 km inland movement from the port “through the town centre and along curved mountain roads” to its final location. There are many general logistics


challenges associated with the current trends in onshore wind farm projects. DHL’s Andersen outlined: “Availability of the right specialised equipment i s often scarce and in many instances it needs to be mobilised from distances far away or even manufactured for purpose, which is costly and takes time,” he said. “Other challenges include the fact that


local authorities may not be used to dealing with such oversized/heavy loads and that the high delivery rate required for wind projects


Sarens assembling a wind turbine for Enercon in Russia.


can put pressure on private heavy/outsize load escort service providers and police.” On the upside, those new logistics


challenges are creating more business opportunities for companies with the relevant specialised knowledge, services and equipment.


Potential difficulties Mexican heavy haulage company Tradelossa highlighted some of the difficulties involved in moving oversize wind energy cargoes there. “Some roads in Mexico are not designed


to carry those types of cargo and it becomes a challenge to deliver tall, wide and heavy components to certain parts of the country,” explained a company spokesman. “However, those are areas of opportunity


for us to exploit and develop other areas of expertise, by carrying out route surveys and providing engineering solutions.” In a similar vein, Collett & Sons offers a


consultancy service called Collett Transport Consulting, which can plan and prepare transport loading calculations with route assessments. “For example, Collett Transport


Availability of the right specialised equipment is often scarce and in many instances it needs to be mobilised from distances far away or even manufactured for purpose... – Nicolai Andersen, DHL Industrial Projects


Consulting is currently assessing turbines with 75 m blade lengths, and there is talk of turbines of up to 6 MW capacity, which even two years ago would have been unheard of for the onshore wind farm market,” stated David Collett. He added that turbine and trailer


manufacturers are developing innovative ways to move those ever-larger components via roads and across bridges. For its part, he continued, Collett & Sons


is using its expertise and transport engineering skills to solve these issues with novel solutions, using SPMTs and hydraulic modular trailers that address site-specific restrictions. The company is also preparing to invest in new trailer technology.


January/February 2019 81


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