TWD designed and assisted in the fabrication of a monopile gripper frame for our client Van Oord. The gripper is designed to keep the monopiles in the correct position and inclination, and counteract the wave, wind and current loads on the pile during wind turbine installations. 

This frame is specially equipped with deck frames and a guide rail that allows for horizontal and vertical movement in order to store the gripper inboard during transport. The extending frame can slide outward and rotate around its backside, allowing for a 1.5 meter radius of movement. The hydraulically operated gripper arms with rollers ensure that the monopile can be safely caught in the gripper to hold the monopile in the correct position during hammering.

The rollers are hydraulically adjustable and are capable of handling monopiles ranging from 4 to 8 meter diameter. The rollers are equipped with orientation rollers to replace the traditional tuggerwinch. The transport of the monopiles and platforms to the mobilization site is done by making use of cradles and seafastening designed by TWD as well.

 The gripper will be responsible for the placement of 43 wind turbines with a capacity of 3 Megawatts each and will generate green electricity for more than 150.000 households. The installation took place in July 2014 and will be completed after the summer of 2015. We are proud to be part of this major project.

 This new vessel of Van Oord will be christened tomorrow. Unfortunately the gripper is not yet present on the Jack-up vessel during this ceremony. We expect that this will take place early July, shortly before the start of the execution of its first offshore wind farm project Luchterduinen. TWD congratulates Van Oord with this milestone.


Animation of Offshore installation vessel Aeolus at Luchterduinen Wind Farm