Further evidence of the crucial role played by Harwich International Port in the development of the offshore renewables industry has been provided by the maiden call of the MPI Resolution, the largest jack-up vessel seen at the port to date.
The world’s first purpose-built vessel for installing offshore wind turbines, foundations and transition pieces, the MPI Resolution weighs in at 14,085 gross tonnes and has a length in excess of 130 metres.
The vessel will be loading a replacement blade for one of the turbines at the Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm. This 55 metre blade, carried on a specialist trailer, arrived at the port on board the DFDS Seaways’ vessel Dana Sirena, which offers a regular freight and passenger service to Harwich from Esbjerg, Denmark. Once loaded on board the MPI Resolution, it will be transported to the wind farm for installation. The original blade will then be brought back to Harwich for offloading and subsequent return to Denmark.
David Gledhill, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns Harwich International Port, commented:
“We are pleased to welcome the MPI Resolution. The UK’s offshore wind power projects are rapidly expanding, both in the size of wind farm developments and the installation vessels used. Craft of this scale, and larger, represent the future of offshore wind turbine installation and Harwich International Port offers an ideal base for their operation. We expect them to be regular visitors for years to come.”
The 48 turbines of the Gunfleet Sands site, which produce up to 172MW of electricity, make this one of the largest developments in the North Sea and were all originally installed from Harwich International Port during 2009/10.