Launching of the semi-submersible foundation installation vessel 'Alfa Lift', photo courtesy of CMHI.

New Offshore Wind Foundation Installation Vessel ‘Alfa Lift’ Launched in China

Mike Schuler
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March 2, 2021

The new offshore wind foundation installation vessel Alfa Lift has been floated out of dry dock at the China Merchants Heavy Industries (CMHI) shipyard where the semi-submersible is under construction for Norwegian-based Offshore Heavy Transport (OHT).

Designed by Ulstein, the MV Alfa Lift is touted as the largest and most innovative offshore wind foundation installation vessel in the world. With delivery scheduled in late 2021 or early 2022, the vessel will be used to install wind turbine monopiles and jackets at Equinor’s Dogger Bank, the largest offshore wind farm in the world located in the North Sea off England.

OHT reports that with the vessel launched, it will now be moored at the shipyard as work continues on the steel and internal fit-out. Meanwhile, key elements of the vessel’s Liebherr main crane have been completed in Rostock, Germany, including the slewing column and the A-frame. The parts are scheduled to leave Rostock early this month for delivery at CMHI in Jiangsu, China in April.

“The vessel construction has progressed well despite these challenging times. We would like to sincerely thank everyone at CMHI who have worked with us closely to ensure that we have met the float-out milestone in a safe and timely manner, with work having continued through the recent Chinese New Year period,” said Bjarne Birkeland, Head of Vessel Management for OHT.

Launching of the semi-submersible foundation installation vessel ‘Alfa Lift’, photo courtesy of CMHI.

Alfa Lift will feature a 3,000-tonne main crane, a 10,000 square meter smart deck, capable of carrying and installing up to 14 extra-large monopiles or 12 jackets per voyage. The vessel is designed to fully submerge the main deck to a depth of 14.66 meters.

“We are also grateful for seeing the quality Liebherr 3000 tonne heavy Lift crane components being shipped from Liebherr’s facilities and look forward to seeing the crane installed on the vessel,” Birkeland added.

“This is an important milestone that brings Alfa Lift one step closer to entering service and helping to satisfy the ever-growing global demand for custom-built offshore wind installation vessels,” said Torgeir Ramstad, CEO of OHT. “We have no doubt that Alfa Lift will be a very busy vessel for many years to come.”

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