Highlands & Islands

Beatrice Offshore Windfarm project's big ships

The ship Rotra Vente Image copyright Bowl
Image caption Roll-on/roll-off cargo vessel Rotra Vente at the Nigg Energy Park

The latest in a number of large specialised ships has arrived in Scotland as part of the construction of what will be Scotland's largest offshore wind farm.

Costing £2.6bn, the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) involves the installation of 84 turbines at a site in the Moray Firth.

Rotra Vente, a roll-on/roll-off cargo vessel, is the latest vessel to join the renewable energy project, which involves SSE and other companies.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy brought in the Rotra Vente to transport wind turbine components from various manufacturing facilities in both the UK and Europe to the Nigg Energy Park on the Cromarty Firth.

Pacific Orca installing turbine Image copyright BOWL
Image caption Pacific Orca installing a turbine

The ship's cargo includes nacelles, housings for the generating components in the wind turbine.

Each nacelle weighs 370 tonnes and is driven off the cargo vessel using a multi wheeled heavy lift vehicle known as a self propelled modular transporter.

Other ships involved in the construction work have included the Stanislav Yudin, which has a 2,500-tonne, 110m (360ft) revolving crane.

It is also equipped with hydraulic hammers which were used for installing piles needed for the jacket substructures of the offshore wind turbines.

Heavy lift ship Image copyright Port of Cromarty Firth
Image caption The heavy lift ship Stanislav Yudin

Another of the specialist ships is Pacific Orca, which is being used for the installation of the turbines.

Once completed, Bowl is expected to be capable of providing enough electricity for up to 450,000 homes.

It is due to be fully operational by the end of 2019.

The wind farm site is situated about eight miles (13km) off the east Caithness coast.

All images are copyrighted.

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