One offshore windfarm, one tight timetable… and 336 foundation piles. The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project was shaping up to be quite a challenge – until the team called on Dyneema®.

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Laying the foundations for renewable energy

Comprising 84 wind turbines with the capacity to power around 470,000 homes, Beatrice is a 588-megawatt offshore windfarm in Scotland’s Outer Moray Firth. So who had the enormous responsibility of managing the pre-piled jacket foundations for this mega-project? Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), working with the seabed-to-surface engineering company Subsea 7.

Together, the team designed, engineered, manufactured, and installed the jacket foundations and array cables, and transported and installed the offshore transmission modules, including the 336 piles needed for the jackets.

These piles were set to be transported to the Beatrice site on barges from Germany and the Netherlands, but fixing the piles securely for the journey required 16-meter lashing chains with a minimum breaking load (MBL) of 20 tonnes. Made of steel, each such chain would have weighed 64 kg – needing a crane to get all them safely into position. But time was of the essence, and using a crane simply wasn’t an option. The SHL team needed a faster solution.

Saving time and cutting costs thanks to exceptional lashing performance

Enter Green Pin Tycan® chains made with Dyneema®. Supplied by Van Beest B.V., these lightweight synthetic chains offered the same 20 MBL performance as their steel counterparts at a weight of just 10.2 kg each. It was an easy choice for SHL, which was already familiar with the high-quality Dyneema® fibers in its heavy lifting slings and tow lines. And sure enough, the crew were able to easily throw these Dyneema®-based lashing chains over the piles instead of using a crane – optimizing time and cost efficiencies and improving safety.

There was another handling benefit with the Green Pin Tycan® chains, too: “Part of the reason why we decided not to use steel chains was because they tend to slide off the piles and fall deep into the barge,” explained Wouter Boot, Installation Engineer at SHL. “Recovering them eats up yet more time and money.”

Thanks to the synthetic chains, the operation was a great success. In fact, SHL has already ordered more Green Pin Tycan® chains, which it plans to put to good use on future heavy lashing projects – so watch this space…

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“Where possible, we prefer synthetic equipment for lashing and lifting, for easier, faster, and more ergonomic handling versus steel.”

Frits van Dorst, Project Engineer, SHL

The benefits of Dyneema®-based lashing chains

SHL used 85 Green Pin Tycan® lashing chains (total length: 1,360 meters; total weight: 800 kg) to transport the piles for the Beatrice project. Made using Dyneema® fiber and Dyneema® Max Technology, the chains are fully DNV certified for safe nautical lashing in heavy marine transport and offshore industry, with a safety factor of 2, a certified lashing capacity of 10 tonnes, and an MBL of 20 tonnes.

  • Safe stacking: equal lashing capacity to steel at a lower weight and with low elongation

  • Lower risk of damage to piles: softness of synthetic chains reduces the risks

  • Easy to adjust: different stack heights and pile diameters can be easily accommodated

  • Greater efficiencies: no need to use protective sleeves during transportation

  • Economic use of space: synthetic chains’ natural coiling properties save precious space on ships and inwarehouses

  • Faster lashing: chains can be manually thrown over barges

  • Quick and safe removal: no need for cranes or ladders

  • Increased safety: no need for workers to climb up ladders or over cargo

  • Higher productivity: one rigger can handle long chains all day

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