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The last turbine is installed at Saint-Brieuc in France

Yesterday, the 17th of December, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier (FOWIC) successfully installed the last wind turbine at the Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind farm. This marks the end of FOWIC’s first large transportation project in France – but also the beginning of a new chapter for FOWIC and SGRE in French waters. In April 2022, FOWIC was awarded the contract with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), and now FOWIC has successfully and on time completed its first project in France, transporting 62 SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbines at the Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind farm.

Overcoming challenging conditions

FOWIC and SGRE have worked together on many projects, but this was their first encounter with French waters together. The Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind farm is located 16 kilometres off the northwest coast of France in the Saint-Brieuc Bay in the English Channel. This location and new territory posed unique challenges for the two companies: the seabed, the waters, the weather, the port, and the brand-new turbine factory, to mention some.

The seabed’s exceptional hardness, with a shear strength ten times that of concrete, made it particularly difficult to work on. Hammering down on such a rigid surface required immense effort and precision.

The English Channel was another obstacle. Not only does the busy waterway have high traffic, but the breakwater out of port is also narrow to pass through. These factors made navigation and operations 

particularly challenging for the crew, demanding exceptional skill and expertise.
Furthermore, the weather was a challenge. The tidal waters, high currents, and long swells from the Atlantic Sea made work from the vessel harder than normal.

The skilled and hard-working crews of the client SGRE managed to keep pace with the turbine manufacturing process, overcoming initial delays and logistical hurdles. This was crucial, as the newly established factory supplied turbines directly to the vessels for installation.

“The success in overcoming the challenges directly reflects the crew's brilliance. Their expertise, resilience, and adaptability under pressure were essential in navigating through these many challenges," tells Petter Faye Søyland, Senior Project Manager at Fred. Olsen Windcarrier.

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From trust and great collaboration comes safety

Despite the harsh working conditions, the crews maintained one of the best health, safety, and environmental standards in Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s history.

“With more than 330,000 working hours since March, the project witnessed an impressive HSEQ performance – something we are really proud of,” says Petter Faye Søyland, Senior Project Manager at Fred. Olsen Windcarrier.

A fruitful partnership

“The relationship with SGRE was very fruitful, from the planning phase at the office to port logistics and the work done on the jack-up installation vessel. Our collaboration is built on mutual trust and concerted efforts, ensuring the project's efficiency - not to mention having a good working atmosphere, which is very important,” says Petter Faye Søyland, Senior Project Manager at Fred. Olsen Windcarrier.

During the project, FOWIC and SGRE established strong local connections and adapted to the French market's specific requirements and legislation. The Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind farm will now supply clean energy for 835,000 people in France, and the project has opened new doors for future endeavours in the region.

20231217 105409
DJI 0484
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