By Alex Dahm08 January 2009
In the third quarter of 2008 Sarens installed the first six 5 MW turbines on the Thornton sandbank in the North Sea between the UK and mainland Europe. Kamag SPMTs were used to transport the six 3,000 tonne, 42 m high concrete foundation blocks from the yard to the quay. The concrete blocks were then transported by the Rambiz crane ship and placed on the prepared seabed.
The next phase was the assembly of the steel towers and turbine parts on the foundations. To execute this operation, Sarens put a 750 tonne Liebherr LR 1750 on top of the 40 m high SMLT (Sarens Multi Lift Tower), which itself sat on the Buzzard jack-up barge. The nacelle height of the Repower turbines is 120 m measured from the seabed and the heaviest lift is the nacelle weighing 325 tonnes.
The Thornton sandbank is situated 28 km off the Belgian coast in water depth of 12 to 27.5m. When completed the wind farm will deliver 300 MW - enough energy for the annual consumption of 600,000 inhabitants, according to Sarens.Three cranes lifted the LR 1750 on top of the pre-installed 40 m high SMLT tower. All lifts were in-house engineered using Autocad 3D software.