Sarens Lifts and Moves Massive Wind Farm Substation
Sarens moves a 2.922t Engie Fabricom substation onto barge for transport to the North Sea
April 2017

Last month, in Hoboken, Antwerp, the Sarens team of engineers and operators faced a special mission: to move a massive wind farm substation weighing 2.922t onto a Sarens barge set to sail for the North Sea, off Norfolk's coast. Its destination: the Racebank wind farm, home to 91 x 6MW 154m Siemens wind turbines.

For this operation, Sarens brought its SPMTs in by truck, unloading them with a crane. They were then assembled into a configuration of four trains with 22 axles each, and driven underneath the substation. Next, the team used load cells connected to a computer to determine the substation's total weight and centre of gravity.

While the SPMTs supported the weight of the substation, Sarens rotated its barge into position so it could receive the load. A winch and truck were used as the rotation point.

But moving the barge into position was just the beginning: the challenge waskeepingit in position! The Sarens team had to account for the river's tidal fluctuations and strong current, making adjustments to ensure that the barge stayed level with the quay. Because the river's tide rises and falls by several metres, Sarens operators strategically pumped water in and out of the ballast tanks to keep the barge aligned with the quay.

With everything finally in position, the SPMTs drove aboard the barge. The substation was then safely secured, and the SPMTs drove out from underneath the load and back on to the quay.

With the substation onboard, the Sarens barge was ready for transportation to the North Sea wind farm. Watch the complete video here!

We're proud of the Sarens engineers and operators who made this lift possible, and who are part of a long tradition of excellence and innovation.

For a full overview of the project, click here