Specialist Offshore wind installation ship launched in China

Norwegian owner Offshore Heavy Transports (OHT) said its newbuild vessel Alfa Lift has been floated-out from its drydock at China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) shipyard in Jiangsu, China. The semisubmersible heavy installation vessel, which is designed and built for installing the next generation XXL offshore wind foundations, was launched on February 28, 2021.

The 51,087-dedweight-tonne vessel will now be moored while work continues on the steel and internal fit-out, including the mechanical completion of systems. Meanwhile, key elements of Alfa Lift’s major crane components have been completed in Rostock, Germany. The heavy lift crane’s slewing column and the A-frame are scheduled to leave Rostock in early March and will arrive in China in April where they will be installed.

The Ulstein-designed Alfa Lift will feature a 3,000-tonne main crane, a 10,000+ square meter “smart deck”, capable of carrying and installing up to 14 XL monopiles or 12 jackets per voyage, and will be able to fully submerge the main deck to a depth of 14.66 meters. The ship will have capacity to can carry cargoes of up to 48,500 tonnes.

“The vessel construction has progressed well despite these challenging times,” said Bjarne Birkeland, Head of Vessel Management for OHT. “We are also grateful for seeing the quality Liebherr 3,000-tonne heavy Lift crane components being shipped from Liebherr’s facilities and look forward to seeing the crane installed on the vessel.”

Alfa Lift is on schedule for delivery at the end of this year or early 2022.

The ship will make its monopile installation debut at Dogger Bank A being developed by SSE Renewables and Equinor in the U.K.  Alfa Lift will transport the monopile foundations and transition pieces to the offshore site, more than 130 kilometers off the northeast coast of England, and install them in water depths up to 35 meters.

The foundations will be amongst the largest ever used for offshore wind and are expected to be installed at Dogger Bank A between 2022 and 2023.

OHT’s Alfa Lift float-out at CMHI’s shipyard in Jiangsu, China. P

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