Samsung Heavy Industries has installed world’s largest wind farm vessel Pacific Orca and has delivered it to Swire Pacific Offshore, a Singapore-based shipper. The wind farm installation vessel is a special vessel which may facilitate the focus of the wind power market from in-land wind farms to offshore wind farms.
The capacity of global offshore wind farms is expected to grow rapidly to reach 239GW by 2030, around 70 times more than current 3.5GW capacity (1,000 units of 3.5MW-class power generators). Based on the predictions of a rapid increase in the demand for wind farm installation vessels, the shipbuilding industry has now focused on developing related technology to facilitate projects.
The order was awarded to Samsung Heavy Industries in July 2010 to build 161m long, 49m wide and 10.4m high Pacific Orca, deemed as the world’s largest wind farm installation vessel. The vessel is capable of transporting and installing at least 12 units of 3.6MW power.
The vessel also allows wind farms to build installation at a depth of 60m – the deepest in the world. It also helps the installation of ultra-large wind farms with a capacity of 10MW or higher, currently being developed to meet the demand for larger wind farms. Existing wind farm installation vessels are fixed at the bottom of the sea with jack-up lags embedded in them after the vessels are floated to minimise the impact of tides and waves.
The vessel built by Samsung Industries is floated up to 17m above sea level with the help of six legs and the 1,200t crane embedded on it allows the installation of power generation towers, power generation rooms and wings. In effect, the vessel is designed to allow installation of wind farms under extreme conditions where the velocity is 20m per second and waves are 2.5m high.
“The fact that we have now successfully built this world’s largest wind farm installation vessel guarantees our competitiveness in future bids. We also expect that this achievement will create synergies between the shipbuilding business of Samsung Heavy Industries and the wind power business, which is one of the promising renewable energy businesses,” Roh In-Sik, CEO of Samsung Heavy Industries said.