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New cargo terminal commissioned with

Rocks from Norway for offshore wind farms

New cargo terminal commissioned with rock logistics project for offshore wind farms

The new”Limfjordskaj lll” cargo terminal at the Port of Thyboron was only just completed when it was put to work with a major rock logistics project for Vattenfall’s Vesterhav Nord and Syd offshore wind farms. This says something about the role a commercial port can play if the timing and the geographical location are right.

Rohde Nielsen A/S, the Danish subcontractor responsible for the cable installation project at Vattenfall’s Vesterhav Nord and Syd offshore wind farms, is also responsible for the large rock logistics project for scour protection at the offshore wind farms. Rohde Nielsen A/S has partnered with Dansk Natursten A/S to transport rocks from Norwegian quarries and handle logistics at the rock stores at the Port of Thyboron.

Located right on the North Sea, very close to the offshore wind farms, and with a protected entrance inside the Liim Fiord, ensuring stable navigation, the Port of Thyboron was chosen as the installation port for the rock project.

A dedicated storage area was quickly set up close to the quay in the newly established port area in Sydhavnen, and some of the over 100 local service companies based at the port were brought into play.

Vejlby Entreprenørforretning was chosen to handle the rocks onshore, including transport to and from the quayside storage area. Vejlby Entreprenørforretning and local agent North Sea Agency together make up the local team for handling the logistics project.

The new cargo terminal was just recently commissioned before it was inaugurated with a rock logistics project for offshore wind farms.
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Rocks from Norway for scour protection at offshore wind farms

68,500 tonnes of rocks from Norway, to be used to protect the foundations of the Vesterhav Nord and Syd offshore wind farms, started arriving at the Port of Thyboron between Christmas and New Year 2023, and are currently stored in a 15,000 m2 quayside storage area at the new cargo terminal in Sydhavnen.

Granite boulders weighing up to 120 kg each have been continuously loaded at the Port of Thyboron as rock production progressed in Norway. The special weight and size of 15-120 kg per boulder required special production at the Norwegian quarry. This was carried out with great flexibility alongside the quarry’s other standard production. A long and flexible production period gave the project extensive transport flexibility, allowing cost savings and eco-friendly transport in the offshore wind farm project.

In total 68,500 tonnes of large rocks for protection of offshore wind farm foundations were sailed into the Port of Thyboron from Norway.

Flexibility can optimise freight costs

The Hagland shipping company, which already operates out of the Port of Thyboron, was able to plan the transport of rocks from Norway to Denmark around other planned shipments to and from Thyboron. The project’s flexibility thus allowed shipments to be greatly optimised and return cargo to be utilised, leading to environmental benefits and cost reductions.

Flexibility in the planning optimised the transport costs and contributed to an environmental benefit.
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Expanded port capacity provided space for concurrent offshore wind installation projects

Flexible rock production and transport created a need for a temporary store at a port near the project site. Immediately after the completion of the new port area in Sydhavnen at the Port of Thyboron in December 2022, the rock logistics project moved in between Christmas and New Year.

The recently completed port expansion adding 170,000 square metres of quayside land and the associated 220-metre-long cargo quay made it possible to handle two installation projects simultaneously at the Port of Thyboron. Rocks were loaded for an offshore wind farm in parallel with another major installation project – the storage and shipment of monopile foundations and transition pieces for the same offshore wind farm. The two large installation projects were run in parallel from two dedicated offshore wind energy terminals, without interfering with each other or causing unnecessary waiting time for either.

Expanded port capacity at the North Sea benefit the offshore wind energy projects. Two concurrent offshore wind installation projects was run from the Port of Thyboron.

A nearby port offers great advantages

One of the key reasons why the Port of Thyboron was chosen as a storage base is its excellent geographical location, close to Norway and offshore wind farms in the North Sea. Shorter distances meant that using smaller freight vessels proved to be more profitable than large vessels for transport, giving both the quarries and the shipping companies the chance to flexibly arrange small shipments throughout spring.

The quayside storage areas at the Port of Thyboron also offered further logistical optimisations, with less driving between the quay and storage area. Handling costs and the environmental impact were reduced due to the short driving distance.

The same clear geographical advantages will again apply when the many tonnes of rock begin to be shipped and laid during July. All the rocks are gathered in a store at a port close to the project site, ready for the Grane R installation vessel from Rohde Nielsen A/S to sail in and collect it for the Vesterhav Nord and Syd offshore wind farms.

In addition to freeing up storage space at the production site in Norway and allowing the rock shipments to Denmark to be flexibly optimised, choosing a port close to the project, with good port facilities and stable navigation, also meant that the project was able to use a less costly installation vessel of just 5697 GT for the task. The installation vessel is optimally utilised when the right quantity of rocks is driven to the quay before the ship arrives, and is already so close to the project site that there is no need to use the installation vessel for unnecessary transport.

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Timing is crucial

Providing value-creating facilities that support our customers’ business and promote growth is part of the Port of Thyboron’s strategy. The port completed a brand-new quay facility, after a historically large port expansion, just in time to service an installation project in the offshore wind energy segment very close to our geographical location. This is a good example of the meticulous planning required, and how important timing can be in the maritime sector for everything to fall into place.

This project reveals the rapid pace of development in the North Sea right now, and how this is paving the way for innovation in a sector that has traditionally been defined by very large and long-term investments, making this a very exciting time.

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Find out more about logistics for offshore wind energy and cargo handling at the Port of Thyboron

Published Friday, June 2, 2023