Roll Group is deploying its BigRoll Beaufort to transport foundation and turbine components from Germany and Denmark to a US offshore wind farm located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. To transport all wind equipment safely, in-house engineers designed dedicated grillage for the ship.

Roll Group works on the project on behalf of subcontractor Jan De Nul Group. For this Belgian contractor, it is the first American offshore renewables contract. The offshore wind farm will generate a combined total of 12 megawatts and is a cooperation between Dominion and Ørsted Wind Power North America LLC.

‘This contract is an important milestone for the international maritime industry,’ says Philippe Hutse, Offshore Director of Jan De Nul Group. ‘It opens the door for non-US marine companies to work in the United States. Moreover, this wind farm is the first American wind farm located in Federal Waters. We are proud to be the first European marine contractor to pave the way.’

Assembly on board

Before taking on its load, the specially designed grillage was installed onboard the BigRoll Beaufort in Gdynia, Poland. On 31 March, the first foundation components for two wind turbines were loaded onto the ship at the EEW facility in Rostock, Germany. After loading in Rostock, the BigRoll Beaufort made a port call in Esbjerg, Denmark, to load the “white” parts – like towers and blades. Mid April, it set sail to its final destination Halifax, Canada.

At this moment, the ship is ready for the discharge operation. The foundation components will be discharged by Jan De Nul’s installation vessel Vole au Vent, which will sail to the wind farm to install the foundation components. In the meantime, Jan De Nul will assemble and commission the tower sections onboard the BigRoll Beaufort and prepare it for installation by the Vole au Vent.

‘Being part of this pioneering and complex project where our vessel is an integral part of the shipping and assembly scope shows the true added value we can deliver from a technical and operational perspective,’ says Bastian Bojko, Operations Director Roll Group.