The deepwater heavy lift vessel Aegir is set to undertake a number of highly complex heavy lifting operations at the Port of Tyne’s Northumbrian Quay in North Shields.
The 4,000-ton heavy lift capacity vessel operated by Netherlands-based Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) will occupy the river for around two weeks while a number of wind turbine jackets are transported down river from Smulders Projects UK, based in Wallsend.
Belgian-owned Smulders UK constructed the jackets, which measure between 68 – 81-metres high and weigh 1,300 tons, as part of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off Aberdeen in Scotland.
The complex marine operation commenced on May 1, 2018, with a barge towing the wind turbine jackets from Wallsend to the deepwater berth at the Port of Tyne.
Aegir will then come alongside the barge and lift the jacket one at a time deploying its 125-metre-long, 96-metre-high main crane.
After securing, Aegir will sail to Scotland with the jacket suspended from its crane, over the side of the vessel, before returning to repeat the operation with the remaining jackets.
During the lifting operations, the Port of Tyne will enforce a slow speed passing limitation for other vessels – as the 211-metre-long, 46-metre-wide Aegir will encroach into the river channel.
Aegir is expected to return from Scotland every three days to complete five lifting operations at the Port of Tyne.
Steven Clapperton, Port of Tyne Harbour Master & Director of Health & Safety, Environment and Marine, said: “These are complex marine activities, using this substantial vessel of around 50,000 gross tonnes, which can be seen for miles around.
“The size of the ship, with its 4,000 tons revolving heavy lift crane, and the complexity of the operation make the Port of Tyne’s Northumbrian Quay ideally placed to handle this work, due to its deep-water and close proximity to open sea.”