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INDUSTRY REVIEWONSHORE RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION


Strong demand for wind turbine handling services boosts Rollit


Arthur Mahieu, ceo and partner at Rollit Cargo, said that the company is experiencing strong demand for its wind turbine handling services at the port of Antwerp.


Mahieu said that Rollit Cargo handles 40-50


vessels per year at its dedicated Antwerp terminal, loaded with cargoes for onshore wind energy projects. Its partnership with two other logistics companies stationed at the port means that it can mobilise cranes, specialised trailers including SPMTs, as well as river barges, quickly, to expedite the onward delivery of these cargoes to final project sites.


Rollit Cargo works with several major wind turbine manufacturers at the port of Antwerp; the company is also in negotiations with a leading Chinese manufacturer to import wind energy cargoes via its Antwerp facility, according to Mahieu. “Most of the time, the cargo is loaded onto


several trucks for onward delivery. Sometimes, the equipment is delivered by river barges,” said Mahieu. Mahieu highlighted the fact that health and safety is increasingly important in to clients. “We


have a dedicated stevedore gang at our terminal. These guys are very experienced and are familiar with all the different types of wind turbine –we also provide in-house engineering for onshore wind energy projects as a value-added service for our clients,” he added.


Positive outlook Early indicators suggest that the company will remain busy in 2019 handling these types of cargoes. “Touch wood, this business will continue. We already discharged a large vessel on January 5, 2019. Normally, between November and February, the market slows down due to winter weather constraints. Usually, a lot of manufacturers choose to perform logistics in late February/early March.” Furthermore, Antwerp’s strategic location has enabled Rollit Cargo to service onshore projects being developed in Belgium’s neighbouring countries. The company has been tasked with supplying heavy and oversize cargoes to projects in northern France, the Netherlands and Germany, in addition to domestic onshore developments.


Another result of the increasing size of


onshore wind turbines, and the fact that they are often being installed in remote locations, is that logistics providers are constantly being required to come up with equipment innovations to meet specific new challenges. One of the latest examples was unveiled in


2018 by ALE –Wind Services, whose projects have included an installation in Thailand involving hub heights of over 160m and operations in remote locations across countries like Oman, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. In a move that Moreno claims to be “a


game changer in this industry”, ALE – Wind Services brought three new tower cranes into operation. “Those cranes allow us to build wind


turbines to over 160 m hub heights with higher capacity and better wind speed limits than any other standard crane, making operations viable on many sites where they have not been possible before,” he explained. “The cranes also have a very clever


assembly/disassembly process which reduces civil works requirements by more than 50 percent – which translates into very substantial savings,” said Moreno.


HLPFI


82


January/February 2019


www.heavyliftpfi.com


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