Bladt Industries: Uniform Jacket Foundation Design Would Save Money (Interview)

A standardised design of jacket foundations would greatly contribute to offshore wind cost reduction, according to Jan Kjærsgaard, CEO of Bladt Industries, a company whose foundations are supporting numerous turbines installed in European waters.

Photo: Bladt Industries
Jackets for the Wikinger offshore wind project at Bladt’s facilities in Lindø. (Photo: Bladt Industries)

With the offshore wind industry being massively focused on minimising the costs and Bladt having done both three-legged and four-legged jacket foundations, Kjærsgaard said that choosing one of the two designs would result in cheaper production.

“Today, jacket foundation designs vary from project to project, which costs a lot of unnecessary money that we could save if we would find a uniform solution,” he explained.

Bladt Industries is actively engaged in the industry’s quest for lower offshore wind prices and is looking to reduce costs through its own cost-cut programmes and automatization of manufacturing.

The Denmark-based company is utilizing robot welding, new technology and more lean manufacturing tools. In addition, it is bringing in more efficient procurement processes as well as more outsourcing.

We are also looking to establish a standard design for the secondary steel and working on driving down the design costs of the jacket foundations. We believe that especially with the jackets a lot can be done on the cost side,” Kjærsgaard said.

Jan Kjærsgaard (Photo: Bladt Industries)
Jan Kjærsgaard (Photo: Bladt Industries)

Costs can be cut with serial production, which the manufacturer is carrying out for Hornsea Project One substation topsides, a huge order from DONG Energy and first of its kind for the company with 3 similar substations for the same project. Part of the reason Bladt won this contract was that it was priced based on the effects of making three similar projects, Jan Kjærsgaard said.

The company won the Hornsea Project One order together with Semco Maritime, which has been Bladt’s partner on many other projects.

When asked about the cooperation between the two companies, Jan Kjærsgaard said: “We have worked together on 19 substations so we have a very good cooperation. We have just done a thorough cost-cut project together with Semco and. Being awarded the Hornsea project is one of the positive effects of this cost-cut programme so we are quite happy with our cooperation and we plan to continue it.”

Over the last year, Bladt has worked on several substations, a series of transition pieces and one big jacket foundation project, thus marking its busiest year ever in offshore wind.

The Nobelwind and Nordsee One substation topsides recently married their respective foundations. The Nordsee One topside is installed on a jacket foundation and is almost double the size of the one for the Nobelwind offshore wind farm, which is sitting on a monopile foundation delivered by EEW SPC.

At the end of the third quarter of 2016, Bladt completed the Veja Mate transition pieces project by delivering the last 6 of the total 67 units to Offshore Windforce from its production facilities in Aalborg.

The company has also built 41 jacket foundations for the Wikinger project and dispatched the first batch from its facility at Lindø Industripark in July.

A new wind turbine foundation order for the company came in as Bladt won the biggest out of the three foundation supply lots for the Beatrice offshore wind farm and will be building 30 four-legged jacket foundations. “This is a very significant order that will keep us quite busy for more than a year at our Lindø facility,” Kjærsgaard said.

Offshore WIND Staff