Osbit Gripper installs first pile for Sapura Energy on Yunlin Offshore Wind Farm

A pile gripper system, designed and built by offshore equipment supplier Osbit Ltd for leading Malaysian energy service provider Sapura Energy Bhd, is now being used to install monopiles WPD’s Yunlin offshore wind farm in Taiwan.

The monopile gripper, which has been installed on the Sapura 3500 vessel, is supporting the construction of Yunlin offshore wind farm, which is the first large-scale wind farm within the rapidly growing Taiwanese market.

The gripper has now enabled the successful installation of the wind farm’s first monopile foundation, of which there are 80, each measuring 8-metres in diameter. The longest pile is to be nearly 100 metres and weighs almost 1,900 tonnes.

The Osbit-supplied system has been designed to be capable of handling the largest monopiles in the world, some of which will be installed at Yunlin later in the campaign.

The Osbit-supplied system is enabling monopile installation from a moored floating vessel. It is deployed and stowed using a deck rail skidding system and is used to maintain the position and verticality of the monopile foundations.

The gripper design is highly adaptable for future projects, accommodating monopiles between 6.5 to 10 metres in diameter, with push forces up to 300 tonnes. The system has also been designed for rapid mobilisation and can be adapted to suit different vessel structures.

The system is also environmentally considerate, incorporating an integrated Near Pile Noise Mitigation system, which minimises the subsea noise and vibration associated with piling activities. This is complemented by bubble curtain rings which are deployed to dampen the energy emitted into the environment and further protect marine life.

The gripper system was successfully completed despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, with Osbit teams working in Singapore, Taiwan, and the UK in compliance with international restrictions and safety guidance. As part of this, Osbit formed a local supply chain in east Asia to support the project and is now completing additional projects for other Asian wind farms using this established in-region supply chain.

Osbit Joint Managing Director Brendon Hayward said “It’s fantastic to see this innovative piece of kit in action, supporting Sapura Energy in installing Monopiles in Yunlin Offshore Wind Farm.

By applying our extensive offshore handling expertise and working very closely with Sapura Energy, we were able to meet their needs and develop a highly effective, right first-time solution to meet their needs.

This is our first major project for Sapura Energy, and we are very proud to have delivered it On Spec, Budget and In Time, especially considering the huge challenges that have been posed by the ongoing pandemic.”