Liebherr: Future wind farms might be installed from office

At this year’s Offshore Energy Conference and Exhibition (OEEC) in Amsterdam, Armin Seidel, Area Sales Manager Heavy Lift Ship and Offshore Cranes from Liebherr, talked about Liebherr’s achievements throughout the years, as well as the future of crane development in the offshore wind realm.


Liebherr, one of the largest construction machine manufacturers in the world, has so far delivered components for 25,000 wind turbines worldwide over the years, both onshore and offshore, according to Siebel. Since 1996, the German company has been providing its services to the wind industry through six production sites around the world.

Moreover, the company’s cranes serve on roughly 15% of the global crane-geared multi-purpose vessel fleet.

“We see the development of the wind turbine or the size growth of the wind turbines and we see most likely and further growth of our cranes as well,” Seidel highlighted during his speech at the OEEC session.

Seidel noted that the development of the cranes needs to keep up with the industry’s developments. One of the major challenges is maintenance, and one of the ways to tackle this challenge is to work on maintaining the systems remotely.

“Where’s the limit for the jacks? According to the lifting capacity, which is necessary, these cranes or the bigger cranes come around.This has a direct impact on our crane development also, we need to scale up…,” he noted.

While designing cranes for the offshore wind industry, Liebherr pays attention to lifting requirements, as well as the green footprint of the technology. Siedel highlighted that digitalization, automation and cost reduction also play a significant part in realizing these projects.

When asked about whether we will still need humans in the future at the site to perform the necessary work, Siedel stated that everything is possible and that offshore wind farms could be controlled remotely, which means that we could see self-sustaining wind farms being constructed in the future.

I think we have different steps there on the installation cranes, we would say, okay, the operating from the vessel bridge is one step. But maybe in five, ten years, there’s nobody on board or nobody on deck and the installation of a monopile, the installation of a nacelle will happen from the office… This is possible. It is possible,” Seidel said.

He added that this should definitely be the future of the offshore wind industry, but also pointed out that there’s a big pressure in the market when it comes to costs for developers, OEMs, etc. Furthermore, the rules and regulations imposed today on the industry are also something that needs to be resolved and adapted.

“The rules and regulations are limiting us today, for instance, in regards to this remote operation that’s a fact.”

“We are working today already on this, on this solution. This is what I can say. But here we need also the close relationships, the close communication to the OEMs on one side for the wind turbines, but even for the foundations,” he concluded.

View on Vimeo.

Read more about Liebherr projects:

We have just launched a new, dedicated site for OEEC! Follow for all the updates related to the 2024 edition:

Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference

Read all the news from OEEC 2023 on Offshore Energy.