Siemens has commissioned its first specialised transport vessel, the Rotra Vente.
This vessel meets the requirements for cost-effective transportation of large nacelles used in Siemens’ direct drive offshore wind turbines.
The vessel, measuring 141m long, can carry multiple 8MW nacelles per trip, and will link Siemens’ upcoming manufacturing site in Cuxhaven, Germany with installation harbors in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
Siemens and logistics partner deugro celebrated the delivery of the ship, along with customers and representatives of the European offshore wind industry, in the Danish harbor of Esbjerg.
A sister ship is slated to be delivered in spring 2017.
The vessel, which was designed from a base of an existing hull of a container ship, was rebuilt for its new purpose at Holland Shipyard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam in the Netherlands.
A part of its new equipment is a large bow door that enables roll-on / roll-off (Ro-Ro) access to the restructured cargo deck, which is covered by a telescopic roof to protect the nacelles from salty seawater spray during transportation.
Given that the roof can be opened, Rotra Vente’s cargo can be loaded through cranes at harbors without a Ro-Ro ramp.
As the deck has maximum flexibility, the ship can handle transports of up to nine wind tower sections every trip, or three to four rotor blade sets.
Siemens Wind Power offshore CEO Michael Hannibal said: "With our new Ro-Ro transport vessel Rotra Vente, we are stepping into a new era of cost efficient offshore wind logistics.
"When our new factories in Hull, England and Cuxhaven, Germany become fully operational, and both Ro-Ro vessels are in service as interconnection of our manufacturing and installation network, we expect savings of 15%-20% in logistics costs compared to current transport procedures.
“This is another important contributor reducing the cost of electricity from offshore wind."
deugro managing director Richard Thomsen said: "We are proud to operate Rotra Vente for Siemens, since this vessel marks a new milestone in the close cooperation we have maintained for years.
"We signed the contract for this innovative logistics concept just one year ago, and we already have one highly efficient ship operational, with a second one in the shipyard."
deugro is the project freight forwarding division of the deugro Group.
Rotra Vente’s sister ship, which will be a transporter for towers and blades, is currently under construction.
This ship will handle up to 12 wind turbine rotor blades and transport them from Siemens’ production facilities in Hull, England or Aalborg, Denmark to the respective installation harbour.
Image: Rotra Vente in the harbor of Esbjerg. Photo: Courtesy of Siemens.com.