As offshore wind becomes an increasingly important source of renewable energy for the UK, and the construction and manufacturing of turbines and component parts helps to boost our local economy, PD Ports has recently welcomed a vital new addition to the sector.
As the statutory body responsible for the 11 mile industrial stretch of the River Tees out to the Tees Estuary, PD Ports received a new and significant addition to the area this month in the form of the MPI Adventure at Tees Commerce Park.
On the 13th of May the Adventure, which is classified as a ‘wind turbine installation vessel’ (WTIV), made her way up the Tees to Cargo Fleet Wharf, following a maiden voyage from China where she was recently constructed. The newest and largest of the MPI offshore fleet, the Adventure is the world’s most advanced and efficient WTIV with a 1,000 tonne-capacity main crane, accommodation for 112 persons and a maximum operating depth of 40 metres.
With normal vessels, planning and care is taken to observe tides and draught, but because of the size and height of the Adventure more detailed planning had to be involved. It was a tricky feat having to avoid the high voltage power cables and being careful not to catch the seabed, and because of this it took much longer than other vessels to reach the berth. Whilst going up the river the legs had to be lowered and elevated as well as having to wait for the tides to change to be able to safely continue upstream. PD Ports and MPI worked together and used all their resources to ensure a safe passage.
When the Adventure begins her journey out of Teesside, she will move onto London where she will begin the task of installing foundation components for the London Array Offshore Wind farm in the outer Thames Estuary.
Paul Gibson, Chairman of MPI Offshore, said: “The arrival of the MPI Adventure on the River Tees is a landmark event. I am delighted to see the significant progress that is being made in our business to facilitate the installation of offshore wind. The MPI team and I still have a lot of hard work ahead of us to embrace the exciting challenges the offshore wind industry has to offer us.”
The team at PD Ports wishes the MPI Adventure the best of luck on her endeavours in the future and hopes to see many more wind farms erected by this very vessel.