EEW SPC ships monster monopile

German specialist steel fabricator EEW SPC has delivered the wind industry's heaviest monopile to date – a 930-tonne colossus expected to be among the 'XL' models that will open up water depths greater than 40 metres to the extended foundation concept.

The contractor has produced 39 of the monopiles, which are 73.5 metres long and 6.5 metres in diameter, for EnBW's Baltic 2 wind farm.

Ballast Nedam's Svanen heavy-lift vessel is in the frame to install the monopiles in water depths ranging from 23-44 metres at the development through to December.

"This is the first step toward XL-monopiles. In future monopiles can also be embedded in deeper water," EEW SPC managing director Karl Klös-Hein tells Recharge.

"We expect that XL monopiles will be realised for offshore wind farm projects with 5-6 MW turbines and a water depth around 40 metres."

The XL monopiles and their accompanying transition pieces have been manufactured through a joint venture with Bladt Industries.

Baltic 2, being built using 80 3.6MW Siemens turbines, is slated to come online next year.

There are as many as seven wind farm developments off Europe currently tending for XL monopiles.