A NEW arrival on the Tees has brought a significant boost to offshore wind companies.
The sector is an increasingly important source of renewable energy for the UK, and the construction and manufacturing of turbines and component parts helps to boost the local economy.
PD Ports, as the statutory body responsible for the 11 mile industrial stretch of the River Tees out to the Tees Estuary, helped bring in the MPI Adventure to Tees Commerce Park.
The Adventure, which is classified as a “wind turbine installation vessel”, 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 people 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.
High voltage power cables had to be avoided and the crew had to be careful not to catch the seabed and, because of this, it took much longer than other vessels to reach the berth.
While going up the river, the legs had to be lowered and elevated and it also had to wait for the tides to change to be able to safely continue upstream.
When the Adventure begins her journey out of Teesside she will move to 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,” he added.