Giant crane arrives in Peterhead to give offshore turbine project a lift

One of the world's largest and most versatile floating cranes arrived in Peterhead.

A giant floating crane has arrived in the North-east to help develop a £300 million offshore floating windfarm.

Asian Hercules III arrived in Peterhead yesterday ahead of the foundations being constructed for Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

Famed as one of the world’s largest and most versatile floating cranes, it will be used to install the foundations for 11 77-metre wind turbines.

The equipment, which arrived yesterday, will raise and install the 1,800-tonne steel jacket foundations, which weigh as much as 10 Boeing 747s.

Each turbine is also equivalent in weight to eight double-decker buses.

EOWDC is believed to be a UK-first in harnessing large scale offshore wind.

Adam Ezzamel, EOWDC project director for Vattenfall, which is developing the facility, said: “The size of the Asian Hercules III offers a glimpse of the scale of the engineering behind the EOWDC.

“We hope that the technology on display will be an inspiration to young people considering a career in science, technology, engineering and maths.

“Low carbon power is about their future. By testing and demonstrating pioneering technology, the EOWDC will support the growth of a low-cost, fossil-free offshore wind industry which is set to be the backbone of the UK power sector.”

Once constructed, the EOWDC will generate the equivalent of 70% of Aberdeen’s domestic electricity demand, and annually displace the equivalent of 132,977 tonnes of CO2.

John Wallace, chief executive at Peterhead Port Authority, said: “Everyone at Peterhead involved in this project has worked extremely hard to ensure the operation runs as safely and efficiently as possible.

“This is a complex marine operation in which all parties will, of necessity, contribute their considerable skills to bring to fruition.

“We are presently in the final stages of our preparations prior to hosting the first barge carrying foundations.”