Demand for renewable energy is rising – and so are constructors’ ambitions. Today’s windfarms must be larger and more efficient than ever before, and for that, operators need to scale up installations in the face of fast-looming deadlines.

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Securing power for the future

Eight kilometers off the coast of Taiwan, the Yunlin offshore windfarm is a 640-megawatt undertaking, made up of 80 8-megawatt monopiles each weighing up to 2,400 tonnes. But even getting these monopiles to the Yunlin site was a challenge. It’s a journey that started at the Steelwind Nordenham production site in Germany [link to #116], where transport contractor Jumbo Maritime took on the job of shipping the monopiles safely to their final installation point.

Engineers, crew, and dock loaders knew that every step of the journey from factory to installation came with risks both to the project and to crew safety, from damaging cargo to missing narrow tidal windows. Understandably, Jumbo was looking for the ideal equipment to make sure everything ran smoothly and safely, even in rough seas, extreme temperatures, and the lashing of rain and sea spray.

“Large-scale projects mean big equipment; big equipment needs a lot of preparation; and preparation takes a lot of time,” said Peter Mathot, Senior Port Captain at Jumbo Maritime. “However, our contract meant we only had limited time to get the cargo safely onboard with no damage.”

Meeting the challenge head on

Jumbo turned to Dolezych, producer and supplier of products for load security during transport. “Ourpartnership kicked off with a challenging request from Jumbo: to improve its current lashing systems by making them lighter and easier to handle,” explained Walter Eckstein, Sales Director for Load Security Products at Dolezych. “Jumbo also wanted the systems to have greater flexibility in daily operations.”

The solution they came up with was the DoNova® PowerLash chain, made with Dyneema® – a synthetic chain with the strength of steel but 85% lighter (light enough to float on water, in fact). With almost zero stretch, the product was also much softer than steel and offered improved ergonomics for easier handling and more flexible operation.

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The reason Dyneema® fiber is such an important ingredient in the DoNova® chain is because it’s the only synthetic fiber to combine incredible lightness and softness with strength and durability. This makes it a very attractive alternative to steel chains.

Walter Eckstein, Sales Director for Load Security Products, Dolezych

Dyneema®: Setting a new performance standard

In turn, the characteristics of the DoNova® PowerLash chain can also help reduce operational costs in the use phase. These Dyneema®-based chains are more ergonomic than steel, enabling quicker work; they have a different workload, which results in lighter handling; and they reduce overall emissions and resource consumption, thanks to the lower loads being transported.

“The DoNova® PowerLash chain with Dyneema® answers the growing demands from the wider market,” continued Eckstein. “In creating it, we combined conventional systems with Dyneema® fiber, which has led to a remarkable new solution for the industry!”

Lighter but stronger

Lightweight chains with Dyneema® make lashing speeds twice as fast: the crews securing the monopiles were able to quickly transport and maneuver the lashing systems into the correct position, without damaging the cargo or needing specialist equipment.

Not only is this safer for the crew, but it also increases efficiency by reducing crew numbers and operatingtimes, which can quickly mount up during enormous lashing operations like these.

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“With Dyneema®, one person can carry a lot of lashing chains. They’re lighter, they take less time to install, and they mean that only one or two people are needed for each lashing instead of three or four. In the past, we’d use steel lashings and wires to keep huge cargo like these monopiles secure – but now we use synthetic chains made with Dyneema®.”

Peter Mathot, Senior Port Captain, Jumbo Maritime

“For us, safety is the most important thing, and we look to improve it every day. Dyneema® is part of our safety culture.”

Peter Mathot, Senior Port Captain, Jumbo Maritime

Full steam ahead with Dyneema®

Having been safely and securely attached to the cargo ships, the monopiles began their treacherous journey to Taiwan – with the manufacturers, crew, and clients all safe in the knowledge that the Dyneema®-based lashing chains would stand up to whatever the weather threw at them.

Heavier and more complex lashing operations, tighter turnarounds, and mounting costs mean the pressure is on to deliver without compromising on site safety or payload protection. By helping operators overcome these challenges while meeting the highest regulatory standards, Dyneema® fiber can ease the burden.

Protection for people and planet

Working with enormous monopiles under tight time pressure and in unpredictable weather conditions means there’s always a risk to worker safety – but using Dyneema® fiber on the Yunlin project gave Mathot peace of mind: “Dyneema® helps us ensure our operations are both reliable and safe, and that’s why we prefer it tosteel chains. In the future, we hope that we can make all the equipment on board our ships as safe and reliable as Dyneema®.”

But the planet also needs protecting. For Judith Bosch, Application Manager, Dyneema®, Avient, sustainability is another yet area where Dyneema®’s performance stands above the rest. 

“One of the major benefits of choosing Dyneema®-based products is that they have high durability, and therefore a longer service life,” she explains. “Dyneema® is designed to perform in extreme temperatures and under extreme stress, extending equipment lifetimes and lowering maintenance costs. What’s more, Dyneema®-based lashing systems have the ‘greenest strength’, with the lowest carbon footprint per unit strength.”

Contact our experts

Interested in learning more about Dyneema® for your project or end-use application? Reach out to our team of experts today.

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