Singapore-based shipping company, Swire Pacific Offshore, has accepted delivery of the Pacific Orca, which at 161 meters in length, is the world’s largest vessel specifically built to install offshore wind farms. She was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea.
The wind farm installation vessel is a new special vessel for which demand is expected to grow as the focus of the wind power generation market shifts from in-land wind farms to offshore wind farms.
The capacity of global offshore wind farms is expected to grow rapidly, and to reach 239GW by 2030, which is about 70 times the 3.5GW capacity (1,000 units of 3.5MW-class power generators) it has today. The shipbuilding industry has focused on developing the related technology based on predictions of a rapid increase in the demand for wind farm installation vessels.
It also allows installation of wind farms to a depth of 60m, which is the deepest in the world, as well as the installation of ultra-large wind farms with a capacity of 10MW or higher, which are being developed in the industry to meet the demand for larger wind farms.
Existing wind farm installation vessels are fixed at the sea bottom with jack-up legs embedded in the vessels, and the installation work is performed after vessels are floated to minimize the impacts of tides and waves.
The vessel built by Samsung Heavy Industries is floated up to 17m above sea level, using six legs, and the 1,200t crane embedded on the vessel allows the installation of power generation towers, power generation rooms and wings.
CEO Roh In-Sik of Samsung Heavy Industries commented: “The fact that we have now successfully built this world’s largest wind farm installation vessel guarantees our competitiveness in future bids. We also expect that this achievement will create synergies between the shipbuilding business of Samsung Heavy Industries and the wind power business, which is one of the promising renewable energy businesses.”
Samsung Heavy Industries won an order to build Pacific Orca in July 2010.