AAL has successfully completed three sailings into Adelaide with 45 windmill blades, turbine generators and other related components on each sailing, destined for the new AGL Silverton Windfarm in the Barrier Ranges of New South Wales.
Comprising 58 turbines, the windfarm will reduce CO2 emissions by 655,000 tonnes annually and produce 200MW (780,000 MWh of renewable energy) each year – enough power to maintain more than 137,000 Australian homes. At 63 metres in length, the blades carried by AAL are the longest ever to be shipped into Australia.
The Silverton Windfarm sailing is part of a larger series of renewable energy cargo shipments into Australia carried out by AAL in partnership with COLI Schiffahrt & Transport GmbH (COLI) in Bremen.
The total series comprises seven sailings into the Australian Ports of Adelaide, Newcastle and Kembla and harnesses the carrier’s ‘Mega-MPV’ 31,000dwt A-Class vessels, loading and transporting wind components from production facilities in Germany, Spain and China.
Eike Muentz, General Manager of AAL Europe and Head of AAL’s Wind Energy Team, explained the significance of AAL’s achievement: “Not only were these blades the longest ever to be shipped into Australia, but we also managed to safely load and stow 45 of them on a single sailing, which is a first too.
This enabled significant economies of scale for our customer and their stakeholders, due to the reduced number of total sailings needed. Safety, cost and time efficiency are primary concerns for our customers, and we’ve built a reputation for going the extra mile to deliver. The satisfaction of a job well done is even better when we can push the boundaries of what’s been possible before.”
Yahaya Sanusi, representing AAL’s Engineering Division, explained: “We worked on this project for months, making and revising calculations and stowage plans that could help us maximise cargo intake and economies for our customer.
We almost exclusively employed 31,000dwt A-Class vessels on this project. Their exceptional cargo intake of nearly 40,000m3 and weather deck space of 3,000m2 were instrumental in enabling us to safely transport this huge number of blades on each sailing.”
Alain Akavi, Managing Director of COLI Bremen, concluded: “The success of any global logistics solution hinges upon the smallest detail being accounted for and dealt with. And with our renewable energy customers comprising some of the world’s leading brands and industry pioneers, we can’t afford mistakes.
Their expanding global footprint, coupled with the increasing physical size of modern windmill components, places ever-increasing demands on us and our chosen partners to control time and cost efficiencies. Working with a carrier like AAL, that not only has the physical capability to do the job, but that shares our commitment to service integrity and quality, is imperative.”