wind turbine installation onw

Offshore Wind Turbine

Installation, part one



tern break (2) navigation
moor fed up destination
bored crane (2) operate (2)
rotor fancy (2) cooperate
span blade (2) sensitive
inspect scratch boatload (2)
extra take care nonetheless
idle vessel bridge (2)
turbine  patience second mate
steer offshore responsible
brave  damage maintenance
draining  jack-up keep an eye on
secure die down promotion
port enforced maneuver
knots socialize depends on
goal (2) harbor






For days, nothing has happened . . . The Brave Tern remains moored in the harbor.

Lee Kellow is fed up. He wants to get working. That’s why he went into the offshore industry.

Lee Kellow: “I’ve done maybe sixteen years operating cranes. And then I got bored of sitting in one place too long.

I just fancied a change so I came into lifting supervisors and a lot of rigging work like that.”

But the weather’s not cooperating; it’s too windy.

Lee Kellow: “We’ve been waiting now for, must be three or four days. We arrived at this harbor yesterday — but we arrived at the last harbor, waiting there for two or three days as well.

But it doesn’t look good for the next few days, so we just keep ourselves occupied.”

The rotor with its blade spanning more than 100 meters, has to be loaded on board.

But it’s extremely sensitive to wind.

Loading will have to wait yet another day.

Lee Kellow: “We’ll take the machine down both sides of each blade. And we’ll come down the side and inspect for any damages, any big scratches, any paint damages that could have been done during installation.

We’re just taking extra care this time.”

The Brave Tern is a jack-up installation vessel, build especially to help construct offshore wind turbines.

Every day, the ship and the crew cost €150,000 — even when they are sitting idle.

For a year now, Piotr Piekutowski‘s work place has been on the Brave Tern’s bridge: he’s the ship’s second mate.

Piotr Piekutowski, Brave Tern Second Mate: “The second mate is the person who is responsible for all navigation equipment, all radio equipment.”

And he has to keep an eye on the wind speed.

Piotr Piekutowski, Brave Tern Second Mate: “Until Monday, there is no chance; the weather limit is above the limit. We have a limit of 6 and 8 meters per second full throttle.

Unfortunately, we have to wait for better weather.”

The offshore wind power business requires a boatload of patience.

While the ship’s crew tends to some maintenance, the constructors have an enforced break. Even when they are not working, they receive full pay.

But just sitting around is draining, nonetheless.

Joe Wilkinson, Offshore Installation Supervisor: “All you can do is think of your family back home, and your girlfriend, and your friends going out and socializing and stuff . . . and we’re all sitting here doing nothing.”

Finally, the weather changes — the wind has died down.

It’s time to get going.

Lee Kallow and his installation crew are supposed to maneuver two complete wind turbines onto the ship and secure them.

Loading just one component has already taken two hours.

At six in the evening, the night shift takes over.

The work continues . . . non-stop . . .

Twenty hours later, Kellow has the last part loaded on board.

The workers are from Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Germany. They’ve been working together since last December.

Lee Kellow, Lifting Supervisor: “When this is finished, the guys are going to lift the gangway. They land the gangway back on the key side. The dockers will release it for us.

And then we’ll start floating.”

On the bridge, everyone is highly focused.

Piekutowski wears his official uniform. His boss the captain, steers the ship out of port.

One hundred and seventy meters long, 100 meters wide, 666 deep, 61 people on board, into the raging North Sea.

Piekutowski has studied navigation. He wants to become a captain himself.

Piotr Piekutowski, Brave Tern Second Mate: “All depends on the captain especially, because he’s the main person who can say that you are ready for the next promotion or not.

And from yourself — if you feel that you have enough experience, and you feel you can go higher. That’s the best time.”

After a week, the Brave Tern is finally out in the open sea.

Speed is eleven knots.

Destination: 180 kilometers away.

In the middle of the night, they are close to their goal.

The job at the wind park begins.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. The Brave Tern a cargo vessel (ship). Is this correct or wrong? What is it’s function and purpose?

2. Has Lee Kellow always been a lifter on board ships? Why did he change occupations?

3. The work crew did not do any work for about a week because they are lazy. Is this true or false? Do the workers prefer working or being idle?

4. Is this a very expensive project or operation? Does it matter whether the weather is good or bad?

5. Loading the wind turbine components is very quick and easy. Yes or no?

6. Do they work from 9 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’clock in the evening? Are the workers all German?

7. Who is Piotr Piekutowski? What is his background? What is his goal?

8. Are they sailing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?


A. The workers always get paid, even if they can’t work due to bad weather. Is this normal? Would some people think it’s unfair?

B. Do you know anyone who has worked on board a ship or at a dock?
Would you or your friends like to work on board a ship or dock?

C. I would like to go sailing on board a ship or cruise liner. Yes or no?

D. Should there be more emphasis and investment on wind farms?

E. What will happen in the future?


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