In just a night, Van Oord’s heavy lift installation vessel Svanen grew 25 metres taller. As part of a major upgrade, a huge A-framed gantry extension, weighing 1200 tonnes, has been installed on top of the vessel. The operation increased the total height of the Svanen to 125 metres, making it one of the largest heavy-lift vessels in the world.

The extension had been constructed by Holland Shipyards. One of the largest cranes in the world was used for the installation at Mammoet Schiedam.

Besides the gantry extension, the upgrade includes a modernisation of the lifting hooks that will increase the lifting capacity of the vessel from 3000 tonnes to 4500 tonnes, an improvement of the gripper to handle increased loads and a modification of the structure of the vessel to accommodate the latest hammer size. The improved Svanen will be ready for operation in the third quarter of 2024.

Also read: Mammoet’s largest crane to install new A-frame Svanen

Ever larger wind turbines

Due to the worldwide demand for renewable energy, wind farm technology is progressing swiftly, with turbines continually increasing in size. This major upgrade is preparing the Svanen to handle the next generation of monopile foundations for offshore wind projects.

‘We are immensely proud to have constructed one of the largest steel structures in our history for the extension of Van Oord’s Svanen, including the provision of new accommodation units,’ says Marco Hoogendoorn, commercial director at Holland Shipyards. ‘This project required not only exceptional precision in engineering, but also presented us with significant logistical challenges. Thanks to the extraordinary dedication and collaboration of all teams involved, we have successfully realised this technical milestone.’

Maarten Loman, project manager Svanen modification at Van Oord: ‘Originally deployed for bridge construction, the vessel has been contributing to offshore wind construction since the start of the energy transition. Following a significant upgrade in 2017, it is now undergoing further enhancements to continue installing many more foundations for offshore wind farms in the years ahead.’

Also read: Van Oord plans major upgrade for heavy-lift installation vessel Svanen