Dolwin Beta gets legs to stand on

The operation to connect the topside to the substructure for Dolwin Beta is underway in Dubai. It is one of the biggest shipyard operations in the world this year.

“This is a gigantic operation. It will take several weeks before the topside is in place on the substructure, but it feels really great that we’ve got going,” says Aibel’s Project Director Kjetil V. Jacobsen, clearly satisfied.

Dolwin Beta - 19. novemberThe topside of Dolwin Beta weighs 10,000 tons. It will be jacked up more than 50 metres over the next few weeks (All photos: Aibel).

The big lift

The topside is on barges at the Drydocks World yard in Dubai. On Wednesday the massive lifting operation was kicked off.   

“Six giant jacking towers will first lift it up 1.8 metres. It will then be in that position for about a week. That’s in order to complete the installation of special pipes for the big cables from the wind farms,” explains Jacobsen.

Then the topside will be jacked up another 50 metres. That will be at a speed of about one metre an hour.

“During two whole days, the topside will be raised almost to the top of the jacking towers. It will be a spectacular sight,” says Jacobsen.

Dolwin Beta - 22. novemberThe Dolwin Beta substructure.

The legs take up position

The substructure is positioned next to the topside. When the topside has been lifted up to the correct height, the dry dock will be filled with water.    

“First we’ll move out the substructure and then the barge the topside was on. Then the substructure will be moved back into the dock again. With a clearance of less than one metre on each side of the jacking towers, the substructure will be positioned under the topside,” explains Jacobsen.

This operation will take 24 hours. After this, the topside will be lowered about one metre to take its place on the substructure. The platform will then reach its full height of 70 metres. It is 74 metres wide and 99 metres long.  

 Dolwin Beta - 19. november
Aibel
has 40 employees currently stationed in Dubai. From left to right Petter Sveindal, Ingvard Mølstre, Kjetil V. Jacobsen and Per H. Clausen in front of the huge jacking towers.

An important milestone

Aibel’s first wind platform is being built at Dubai Drydocks World. Dolwin Beta will be in a large wind farm cluster in the German sector of the North Sea. It will convert alternating current from wind turbines to direct current, which will be transported onshore via subsea cables.

Over 2,000 workers are currently working on the platform at the yard in Dubai.

“In December the topside and substructure will be welded together. The dock will be emptied of water after this. Aibel will continue the outfitting of the platform, while ABB installs the power conversion equipment,” says Jacobsen.

Dolwin is planned to be in place in the field next autumn.

Dolwin Beta - 22. novemberThe jacking towers.

Published 2013-11-27, 10:00 CET Updated 2014-01-22, 03:33 CET

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