A cold challenge

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Wind farm project with a cold challenge

Icing at a Swedish port sent a large wind farm project down the Port of Grenaa’s way in the spring of 2021. The Port set up a large handling area with lightning speed and sent all of its available manpower and equipment in.

DHL Global Forwarding had been shipping wind turbine parts for the planning stage of the Stavro Onshore Wind Project in northern Sweden for months. This is a Swedish wind farm with two so-called sub-sites with an output of a total of 254 MW. The wind farm is a Siemens Gamesa (SGRE) project that consists of 62 wind turbines that had to be shipped from Europe and Africa to the Swedish port of Köpmanholmen.

The transportation stage envisioned the delivery of wind turbine parts also during the winter, when the Port of Köpmanholmen as well as multiple other ports in the Gulf of Bothnia are facing ice restrictions. In preparation for this, DHL Global Forwarding had investigated a setup that involved transhipping the goods from large vessels to smaller ships with a higher ice class. In other words, to ships with, for example, extra reinforcements that could ensure seaworthiness even in heavy ice conditions.

To ensure the requisite flexibility in the project, the Port of Grenaa was selected as a hub port for the transhipment of the wind turbine components. The final setup could only be planned at the last minute, which is why the Port of Grenaa only had a short time to prepare for the job. The Port of Grenaa met all requirements with regard to cranes, equipment, hinterland and water depth. And the Port was also able to step in at a rather short notice. The job consisted of unloading the wind turbine parts on land, mounting them on new frames and reloading them on coasters that could reach their Swedish port of destination. A total of 150 large wind turbine components were handled in Grenaa in the period from March to May 2021.

A port that could deliver the entire package

“We had multiple ports in mind and ended up opting for the Port of Grenaa, as they were able to step in at a very short notice. They showed great flexibility, which was what was called for in this project. Moreover, the Port of Grenaa was able to provide crew, cranes and handling equipment in close cooperation with Østship ApS, which was the Danish coordinating party in this Swedish project. The Port of Grenaa was the Alpha and the Omega as a cooperation partner and a sounding board. We did not doubt even for a second that we could securely entrust them with such a big part of the job and that it would be done in the best way possible,” says Jacob Jensen, Project Manager at DHL Global Forwarding on why the choice fell on Grenaa.

Setting up a 20,000 sqm site in 14 days

“As all of the Port was very busy at the time, we had to think outside the box to ensure we had space for the project,” says Theis Gisselbæk, CCO of Grenaa Havn A/S. So we established, in the space of mere 14 days, a 20,000 sqm, heavy-lift hub area on the quayside solely for this project, and our skilled team worked overtime to get the site ready for the arrival of the wind turbine components.

Handling equipment and skilled crew

It was not just a new hub area that had to be set up. With three large project cargo ships calling at the port within three weeks and ships continuously sailing off at the same time, there was a desperate need for an experienced quayside crew, which the Port was ready to provide. In addition, the Port of Grenaa made available most of its equipment, among other things, forklift trucks, reach stackers, cranes and other handling equipment. At the beginning of the project, the Port of Grenaa also received a new mobile crane. A Liebherr 550 with a lifting capacity of up to 144 tonnes, which came in rather handy for the project. A flexible and skilled crew worked overtime for a period of two months in order to resolve the challenge.

“We have worked with the Port of Grenaa on several occasions. We know that they also have a major focus on health and safety, and that all guidelines on good working conditions will be met — even in large projects such as this one, where everything has to be done quickly and depends on what has been done before that,” continues Jacob Jensen, Project Manager at DHL Global Forwarding.

Good and strong cooperation with local companies

The project has not only been limited to crew and equipment at the Port but has also involved several local companies in Grenaa. The mere size of the project has meant the involvement of multiple partners. There has been good cooperation and generally good coordination with the other jobs and operations at the Port in order to complete the project on time.


Contact Theis Gisselbæk for a talk about wind.