‘Innovation’ Uses Large Pile Gripper to Install Westermost Rough Foundations

A 395-tonne pile gripper left the Aelterman quay at the Kluizendok in the port of Ghent in January. The structure, which is 30m long, 25m wide and 20m high, is being used at the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm in the UK.

‘Innovation’ Uses Large Pile Gripper to Install Westermost Rough Foundations

The pile gripper has been installed on the jack-up vessel Innnovation, and is being used to position foundation piles for offshore wind turbines. It has been installed on heavy-lift jack-up vessel Innovation, one of the largest jack-up vessels in the world. The pile gripper, mounted on the vessel firmly, grasps the 800-tonne foundation piles and positions them in the right spot on the seabed with an accuracy of a few centimetres.

In total, 35 wind tubine foundations will be positioned using this gripper, which can be used for other projects in the future.

Separate components of the structure were assembled at two Aelterman sites (Sint-Amandsberg and Kluizendok) and then put together at Kluizendok. Subsequently, the entire structure was driven on a pontoon using hydraulic vehicles (with 32 independent wheels) and shipped to the UK to be installed on the Innovation, which is too large to enter the port of Ghent.

Press release, April 18, 2014; Image: Shortsea

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