45-metre long rotor blades shipped for renewable energy project

20 October 2020
News

In the battle against climate change, worldwide demand for renewable energy is rising rapidly; particularly wind energy.

When DSV Projects Portugal needed to transport three 45-metre long rotor blades from Portugal for a wind farm in Australia, they entrusted their large shipment to Höegh Autoliners. Not only were the rotor blades themselves very long, but they were also very delicate and needed a customised solution to ensure its safe transportation.

Dependable service to Australia

Pablo Guerrero, Sales Manager in Spain explains,

Due to the project deadline, Höegh’s dependable liner service from Spain to Australia offered the customer the most reliable ocean transport. Additionally, our New Horizon vessels sailing in this trade, provide a wider ramp capacity than other vessels, and safe underdeck stowage which is an advantage when transporting these unusually long sensitive cargoes.

With the rotor blades located in Portugal, DSV Projects Portugal transported them overland by road trailer to Santander, Spain for the ocean voyage to Australia.

Too long for handling equipment

Due to the length of the rotor blades, it was not possible to transport it on our rolltrailers. The solution was to drive the rotor blades onboard the vessel with the road trailer they were transported on. Once inside, they would be placed directly on the vessel’s deck. With a combined total length of 50 metres, this required the cargo operations team to come up with a solution to ensure the operation was as safe as possible.

Meticulous planning and customised solution

These types of large breakbulk shipments require the cargo operations team to prepare and plan well before the loading operations takes place, to ensure the operation is as safe as possible.

Cargo Superintendent Roger Duran shares,

This is where our competence and experience with oversized cargo is put to the test. Our solution was based on a concept we used previously to successfully ship 33-metre long wind blades; fitting extra beams, specific to the shape of the cargo to provide additional support during both the loading and ocean transportation.

With the extra beams welded on the rotor blade’s transportation cradles, it allows the Cargo Operations team to expertly move the blades from both ends, directly from the road trailer using forklifts working in tandem, on to the vessel’s deck.

Roger explains,

The concept is quite simple, but it requires skilled stevedoring, as the blades are discharged from a road trailer on to the vessel’s deck using two forklifts. We also needed to correctly estimate the right ramp angle and make sure we had enough space to manoeuvre on board with the long trailer and the forklift.

In safe hands with Höegh

Pablo adds,

Thanks to the expertise of the skilled Cargo Operations team, good coordination with the terminal, and the 12-metre width ramp of our New Horizon class vessels, the loading manoeuvre went very smoothly in Santander.

The rotor blades were safely loaded onboard Höegh Trotter where further lashings were added to secure the long and sensitive cargo during its ocean transport to Melbourne.

Correct estimate of the the right ramp angle ensured enough space to manoeuvre onboard

The Cargo Operations Team expertly moved the blades directly from the road trailer using forklifts