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Moving foundation piles with lightweight lashing chains

Faster (un)loading times and increased safety

Lightweight lashing chains made with Dyneema® offer increased benefits for health, safety and quality, while reducing overall costs. For the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd. (BOWL), Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL) used Green Pin Tycan® chains with Dyneema®, supplied by Van Beest, to move the foundation piles to the site more efficiently.

Deepwater installation challenge

Beatrice, a 588 Megawatt offshore wind farm being built in Scotland’s Outer Moray Firth, comprises 84 wind turbines on pre-piled jacket substructures. Once in operation, the power generated will be collected on two offshore transmission modules via 33 kV array cables and associated equipment. The wind farm, once fully operational, will provide energy equivalent to the needs of approximately 470,000 homes.

On Beatrice, SHL worked with seabed-to-surface engineering company Subsea 7. SHL jointly managed, designed, engineered, fabricated, and installed the jacket foundations and array cables for the 84 wind turbines, and transported and installed the offshore transmission modules, which included 336 piles for the jackets.

Tight timetable rules out steel

The challenge was the tight timetable. The piles were to be transported on barges from three locations, one in Germany and two in the Netherlands, to the Beatrice site. Once in the field, the piles, weighing around 150 mT each, would be installed by SHL’s impressive heavy lift vessel, the Stanislav Yudin.

Lashing the piles securely for their journey would require chains or strips measuring 16 meters long with an MBL of 20 ton. Made of steel, each chain would weigh 64 kg. This in turn would need a crane to position the chains over the barges. And this would take more time than was available.

How SHL benefits from using lashing chains with Dyneema®

  • Faster lashing because chains can be manually thrown over barges
  • Quick and safe removal, without needing cranes or ladders
  • Increased safety, eliminating the need for workers to climb ladders or over cargo
  • One rigger can handle long chains all day, increasing productivity
  • Piles can be safely stacked due to significantly lighter handling weight of Green Pin Tycan® chains at equal lashing capacity compared to steel, with low elongation.
  • Softness of synthetic chains reduces the risks of damaging the piles
  • Length of different stack heights and pile diameters can be easily adjusted
  • No need to use protective sleeves during transportation
  • Synthetic chains’ natural coiling properties save space onboard ship and in the warehouse

Exceptional lashing chains: Green Pin Tycan® with Dyneema®

The solution was to use lightweight lashing chains made with Dyneema®, a choice SHL says it found easy to make as it was already familiar with Dyneema® in its heavy lifting slings and tow lines. Instead of 64 kg, each 16-meter Green Pin Tycan® chain would weigh just 10.2 kg  at the required MBL of 20 tons. This would enable the crew to simply throw the synthetic lashing chains over the piles, from one side of the barge to the other, and without a crane. And using synthetic lashing chains with Dyneema® offered further handling benefits, too: “Another reason we never considered steel chains was because they tend to slide off the piles and fall deep into the barge,” explains SHL Installation Engineer Wouter Boot, “Recovering them eats up more time and money.”

“Where possible, we prefer synthetic equipment for lashing and lifting, for easier, faster and more ergonomic handling versus steel”

Frits van Dorst, SHL Project Engineer

SHL’s third use of Dyneema®

The shift to Green Pin Tycan® chains means SHL is now using Dyneema® fiber technology for three different applications: heavy lift slings made with Dyneema®, which have a breaking strength between 500 tons and 3000 tons each; tow lines with Dyneema®; and now, the synthetic lashing chains with Dyneema® for heavy duty lashing. “We do not want to use steel equipment anymore for lashing and lifting,” says Frits van Dorst, SHL Project Engineer, while Dirk-Jan Mattaar, SHL Principal Engineer, adds: “We prefer to use only fiber-based lightweight equipment for this.”

Green Pin Tycan® lashing chains for SHL

  • Fully DNV-GL certified for safe nautical lashing in heavy marine transport and offshore industry
  • 85 chains totaling 1360 meters (4050 ft) long and 800 kg in weight (SHL subsequently ordered an additional 17 chains)
  • Made of Dyneema® fiber with Dyneema® Max Technology
  • Each Green Pin Tycan® chain measures 16 meters
  • Green Pin Tycan® has a certified lashing capacity LC = 10 ton, a safety factor SF = 2 and a minimum break load of MBL = 20 ton
  • Each synthetic chain weighs just 10.2 kg (steel equivalent: 64 kg)
  • SHL plans to use Green Pin Tycan® chains with Dyneema® for other projects involving heavy lashing on its vessels

Where to buy Green Pin Tycan®?