Gladstone delivers first wind farm imports

The bulk carrier AAL Gladstone arrived in the Port of Eden on Saturday afternoon, quietly entering Twofold Bay under calm conditions.

The 2009-built ship had made the journey from Shanghai, China in good time.

Her deck and sub-decks were laden with tower sections, hubs and nacelles, components for the Boco Rock Wind Farm turbines being built near Nimmitabel. 

The arrival of the turbine blades is expected by the end of the month.

The tower sections range in length from 22 to 29 metres and in weight between 34 and 52 tonnes, depending on the section. 

Each nacelle, the heaviest of the components which houses the turbine-generator, weighs in the order of 67 tonnes.

Svitzer tug the MT Bulimba met the Gladstone just after 1pm.  

The Magnet was lucky enough to be on board Bulimba, after receiving the mandatory safety induction at Snug Cove.  

Harbour master Paul Webster was delivered by the pilot boat to the bulk carrier to pilot the ship into port, while the tug’s crew, under master Chris Timms, readied to attach a line to the Gladstone in preparation for the push and pull needed to bring her alongside the navy multipurpose wharf.

The Bulimba’s crew included Brian Ahern, James Hinckley, Dave Bradbury, and engineer Fred Fethers.  

On board, Chris Timms steadied the tug. 

“We’re ready for a push and pull; if Paul (Webster) needs a pull back out, or when we get closer to the navy wharf, a push in,” he said.

“We’re standing by.”

At this point, we were attached to the Gladstone by an umbilical line.

The 29 metre, 346 tonne tug powered by 2,500 horsepower, easily maintains position.

Chris worked to keep the line to Gladstone ‘just’ slack.

On Saturday, in near perfect conditions, it looked effortless.

“Eden is a pretty rough port to work in,” Chris said.

“You get a lot of rough seas.

“Today (Saturday) is perfect; it’s flat calm.

“Sometimes you can’t even stand up straight – this one (tug) rolls a lot.”

Bulimba partnered the Gladstone to the navy multipurpose wharf and in no time at all, the line to Gladstone was freed and we returned to Snug Cove.

Since the Gladstone berthed, the wind turbine components comprising tower sections, hubs and nacelles, are being unloaded by ship-borne cranes onto trucks on a 24-hour schedule.

Trucks will begin transporting the components from the Port of Eden to the project site next Monday.

Rex J Andrews, transport operators for component delivery, will be based in Bombala for the duration of component delivery, which is expected to take up to six months to complete.




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