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Van Oord gives “Svanen” a Heavy-lift upgrade

Caption: "Svanen" gets an upgrade (© Van Oord)

Specialist shipping company Van Oord is giving the heavy-lift installation vessel “Svanen” a heavy-lift upgrade.

Van Oord has announced an “extensive upgrade” for the “Svanen”[ds_preview].

Among other things, the gantry crane will be extended by 25 meters, which will equip the vessel for the next generation of monopile foundations for offshore wind projects.

The extension of the gantry crane, the most noticeable upgrade, will make the “Svanen” one of the largest heavy-lift installation vessels in the world, the shipping company announced. The 1,200 t extension will be built by Holland Shipyards and installed with a 200 m high Mammoet crane.

Van Oord responds to offshore growth

In addition to the gantry extension, the modernization program also includes an upgrade of the lifting hooks, which will increase the vessel’s lifting capacity from 3,000 t to 4,500 t, an upgrade of the grab to handle larger loads and an upgrade of the vessel’s structure. The conversions will be carried out at several locations in the Netherlands, mainly in the Rotterdam area. The “Svanen” should be operational again in the third quarter of 2024.

Like other shipping companies, Van Oord wants to respond to developments in the offshore wind market with this project.

“Due to the global demand for renewable energy, wind farm technology is making rapid progress and the turbines are getting bigger and bigger. With the upgrade of the ‘Svanen’, we are ready for this development,” said Arnoud Kuis, Managing Director Offshore Wind at Van Oord.

The first project in which the upgraded “Svanen” will be used is the “Baltic Power” offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. The new generation of wind turbines with a generation capacity of 15 MW will be used in this wind farm. Thanks to the upgrade, the “Svanen” will be able to install the foundations of this new generation of wind turbines. Another advantage for use in these waters is the shallow draught. “Svanen” has reportedly already been involved in several projects in the Baltic Sea, such as “Kriegers Flak”, “Baltic 2”, “Arkona” and “Baltic Eagle”.

The “Svanen” already has a varied history. It was originally designed for the construction of bridges. In 2005, the energy transition boosted the Dutch offshore wind market and the “Svanen” was converted for the installation of monopiles and transition pieces. Since then, the ship has installed over 700 monopiles and 223 transition pieces, the dimensions and weight of which are increasing every year. In view of the growth in size, “Svanen” was already modernized in 2017.

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