A few weeks ago, the prototype of the most powerful offshore wind turbine in the world was erected for testing at the Dutch port of Rotterdam.
The nacelle of the General Electric Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine weighs 675 tonnes it was built in St Nazaire, France and shipped to Rotterdam by barge. Lifting it into place required two 1,350 tonne fully rigged crawler cranes. Dutch group Mammoet was originally contracted to erect the turbine, but unable to meet the tight deadline, GE awarded it to Danish crane and access rental company BMS which used two 1,350 tonne Liebherr LR 11350 crawler cranes, rigged with heavy duty Power booms. One of the cranes came straight off the production line and was delivered directly from the Liebherr plant in Ehingen, while the other is owned by Van Adrighem is on a three year rehire contract to BMS.
The two cranes began by lifting the top section of the 150 metre tower and tracking it around 20 metres into position. Next came the nacelle, which with hooks and rigging created a total load of 780 tonnes. The two cranes were positioned over the 14 metre high nacelle and had to wait two days for wind conditions to be right, they then raised the load to 150 metres and tracked into the tower and lowered it into position. The entire lift took just over an hour.
One of the cranes was then disassembled and moved to another job, while the new one was rigged with luffing jib to install the three 107 metre long carbon hybrid rotor blades. The 12MW turbine generates 67 Gigawatt hours of electricity a year, 45 percent more than the current largest unit, and sufficient to power 16,000 households.
The job can be seen in the time lapse video below.