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Cable Movements - Safe, Secure, On Time, On Budget

Posted on 17 July 2020

Cable Movements - Safe, Secure, On Time, On Budget

Orsted is a global leader in offshore wind. We’ve been delighted to help the business to move its full inventory of array cables from the UK to a new, longer-term storage facility in the Netherlands.


To date, we are the only UK company that’s transported every type of component to facilities sited offshore, working in the renewables’ wind industry.

We have the inventory of equipment needed – everything from cable carousels to heavy-lift cranes to multimodal marine and land transport – and we now have the experience to overcome any challenges that might arise. From factory pick-up, by road, through to final installation many miles offshore, we provide a full suite of engineered multimodal logistics to support companies working towards carbon-neutrality goals.

By delivering that critical infrastructure, safely, we can play a small part in keeping up the momentum for renewables, worldwide. We can ensure that equipment is transported and installed on budget, and on time. For Orsted then, we contracted to move all of the array cables and accessories from one storage provider in the UK to a new location in Holland.


Projects like this take time to plan. There are benefits though, in ensuring that an operation like this runs smoothly from start to finish. We managed every aspect of this move – preparing all of the equipment for shipping, loading and transport; taking inventory of and transporting the cargo safely to its new location.

Notably, within the inventory, we were responsible for moving two large offshore wind farm 34kv submarine cables. To ship those cables, we worked with trusted partners to spool them from their existing storage baskets into transportable baskets for the voyage. While they appear robust, and they’re large enough to appear sturdy to the untrained eye, these are actually very sensitive pieces of equipment. Spooling these cables properly – under strict manufacturers guidelines and OEM instructions for cable handling – makes sure their core integrity is safeguarded.


Traditionally, the Port of Harwich docks are thought of as a container terminal or RoRo ferry operator. To avoid having an impact on the port’s day to day operations, we organised all loading and stowage to be completed outside the normal port working area. That meant finding some new engineering solutions – overcoming the combined challenge of reduced ground loadings at the berth and the weight of the baskets themselves – and using the right vessel.

We needed the flexibility to not only move the cable baskets easily but also stow them safely for the sea crossing – and one that could also operate comfortably at the berth, where draught restrictions of 5.8m prohibit the safe operation of all but a small number of heavy-lift vessels (HLVs). The cable baskets are large, too, so whichever vessel we worked with had to be capable of accommodating an outreach of 29mtr from the side.

For this reason, we looked beyond our own extensive fleet and chose to charter Biglift’s Happy Buccaneer – a vessel we’d been looking forward to working with for a long time. Happy Buccaneer was once one of the largest operating HLVs in the world, with a combined lifting capacity of 2 x 700Te cranes.


  • All onshore preparations, both sides of the Channel
  • Road haulage to transport smaller items
  • Management and provision of all equipment for load-out (rollers, caterpillars, quadrants etc.)
  • Weather proofing of transportable baskets, allowing for standing time
  • Charter of vessels including engineering and stowage plans
  • Mooring quayside at receiving port
  • Managing all load-out documentation including RAMS.
  • Assessing and checking container integrity
  • Mobilization and loading to vessel and truck
  • Executing >200+t heavy-lift operations safely

Want to learn more? Contact us for more details.

View the full blog here.