Germany: Nordic Yards Inks Fourth HVDC Transformer Platform Contract
Leading manufacturer of major maritime projects, Nordic Yards, has signed a contract to construct an offshore transformer platform. The client, Alstom, with whom Nordic Yards will be working for the first time, was awarded the tender by transmission grid operator TenneT Offshore GmbH.
DolWin gamma is the fourth HVDC transformer platform (High Voltage Direct Current) in the shipyard group’s order book. Assigned the construction number 215, the subsidiary platform is intended to feed 900 megawatts of renewable energy from wind farms in the German North Sea into the German power grid.
The offshore platform consists of two components – the topside and the foundation. The topside contains the Alstom transformer equipment, workshops, living quarters and machine rooms.
Equivalent in height to an 11-storey high-rise apartment block and 55 metres wide, the platform is longer than an A380 and has a steel structure some 85 times heavier than an Airbus.
The heart of the platform, the topside, is installed in the North Sea on a foundation and raises itself out of the water using a hydraulic system. After this process is complete, the platform is ready to become a transformer station at sea, 20 metres above the water’s surface. The foundation lies at a depth of almost 30 metres.
The total value of the contract for the transformer platform and the transmission cable (Prysmian Powerlink) is over one billion euro. In addition to the fabrication, for the first time the order to Nordic Yards also includes the complete basic and detailed design package, transport and installation at sea.
Grégoire Poux-Guillaume (President Alstom Grid) is very pleased to be awarded the contract and said: “As a market leader in the AC transformer station and HVDC transformer station segment, we are well equipped as a new competitor to enter the German market for offshore transformer stations. The cooperation between Nordic Yards and Prysmian Powerlink, two companies with outstanding reference projects, is the key to mastering this task.”
Vitaly Yusufov, Managing Director of Nordic Yards, explains: “We are an established player in the realisation of the planned German renewable energy revolution and are very much looking forward to the project with Alstom. As usual, we will be doing everything to provide the best Nordic quality.”
Four of the world’s seven platforms of this type currently under construction stem from Nordic Yards in Wismar and Rostock-Warnemünde. The HelWin alpha, BorWin beta and SylWin alpha transformer platforms are already being built at Nordic Yards.
In addition to the offshore platforms, the next projects to be started are a maintenance ship for offshore wind turbines, and the construction of two ice-breaking rescue and salvage vessels for the Russian Ministry of Transport. “Nordic Yards has long since outgrown the role of a traditional shipyard, we are now a maritime systems integrator and manage complex processes. Today we are a significant partner and therefore well prepared for the future,” says Vitaly Yusufov, owner and Managing Director of Nordic Yards.
The yards currently employ a workforce of 1,135. The new order will secure work for the yards until 2017.
Information about the DolWin gamma offshore transformer platform
The topside, the actual platform, is installed 20 metres above the water surface and contains the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) equipment for converting the current from AC to DC in order to transmit the power created by the wind farm to the mainland with very little losses.
The name DolWin stands for Dollart and Wind and therefore gives an indication of the location of the wind farm and the platform. Dollart is a marine bay some 100 km² in area located west of the mouth of the Ems near Pogum, opposite the town of Emden.
Press Release, February 26, 2013