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S China's first wind turbine installation vessel arrives in Guangzhou

(eguangzhou.gov.cn)Updated : 2017-05-23

South China's first wind turbine installation vessel arrived in Guangzhou's Nansha district on May 18, as Guangdong province looks to ramp up its investment in offshore wind farms.

The KOE01 self-elevating vessel, only the fourth vessel of its kind in operation in China, was developed by CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Co Ltd and Keen Offshore Engineering Co Ltd and is built almost entirely using Chinese technology and machinery.

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South China's first wind turbine installation vessel is delivered in Nansha district, Guangzhou, on May 18. [Photo by Fu Chaojun/Southcn.com]

"It broke the technological monopoly. Moreover, some key parts only cost half the price claimed abroad," said an engineer from Keen Offshore Engineering Co Ltd.

The giant platform is designed to transport and install offshore wind turbines off the coast of Guangdong. It is capable of carrying three to five wind turbines or several wind farm foundation components and piling construction at different water depths.

The vessel also boasts some impressive technology. Its 3.6-kiloton continuous hydraulic jacking system is by far the fastest of its kind in China, up to three times quicker than previous systems.

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The vessel's 3.6-kiloton continuous hydraulic jacking system is capable of lifting wind turbines two or three times faster than any other system in China. [Photo by Fu Chaojun/Southcn.com]

It is also designed to be capable of withstanding Guangdong's turbulent weather, including typhoon winds of up to 41.4 m/s, which normally cause severe destruction and huge waves.

The KOE01 will make its debut performance installing wind turbines in East China's Jiangsu province before returning to Guangdong to begin work at Jiangmen's windparks.

Guangdong has an urgent need for more offshore wind capacity. In 2016, the province's total electricity consumption reached 560.4 billion kWh, a new record that sparked calls for the region to optimize its energy industry structure and promote energy saving measures.

China's national government has also identified tapping Guangdong's large wind resources as a good way for the country to meet its energy needs, and has prioritized facilitating the offshore wind power industry during the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-20) period.

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Engineers inspect the control room of the KOE01 self-elevating wind turbine installation vessel. [Photo by Fu Chaojun/Southcn.com]

According to Guangdong's energy bureau, coastal winds where the sea is between five and 30 meters deep are capable of producing approximately 29 billion kWh of electricity.

More than 2,000 wind turbines will be needed to exploit these resources in Guangdong's shallow waters, analysts claim.

The province has also ordered an international-level sitting bottom jack-up to help it develop its offshore wind capacity. The equipment is currently under construction at Huangpu Wenchong's work site.