Sea giant Aegir lands at Port of Tyne

A stunning new visitor to the Port of Tyne is dominating the South Shields skyline.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 1:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 8:26 am
Picture by Mick Naisbitt

The gigantic deep-water heavy lift vessel Aegir - named after a sea giant from Norse mythology - is set to undertake a number of highly complex heavy lifting operations at the Port’s Northumbrian Quay, starting today.

The 4,000 ton heavy lift capacity vessel, operated by Netherlands-based Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC), will be in the river for around two weeks., during which time a number of wind turbine jackets will be transported down river from Smulders Projects UK, based in Wallsend.

Picture by Mick Naisbitt

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The jackets, which measure between 68 – 81 metres high and weigh 1,300 tons, have been constructed by Belgian-owned Smulders UK as part of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off Aberdeen in Scotland.

The complex marine operation is expected to commence on Tuesday 1 st May (2018) with the wind turbine jackets being towed one at a time from Wallsend on a barge to the deep-water berth at the Port of Tyne.

Aegir will then come alongside the barge and lift the jacket, deploying its 125 metre long, 96 metre high main crane. It will then sail to Scotland with the jacket suspended from its crane, over the side of the vessel, before returning to repeat the operation with the remaining jackets.

During the lifting operations the Port of Tyne will enforce a slow speed passing limitation for other vessels - as the 211 metre long and 46 metre wide Aegir will encroach into the riverchannel.

Steven Clapperton, Port of Tyne Harbour Master & Director of Health & Safety, Environment and Marine, said: "These are complex marine activities, using this substantial vessel ofaround 50,000 gross tonnes, which can be seen for miles around.

"The size of the ship, with its 4,000 tons revolving heavy lift crane, and the complexity of the operation make the Port of Tyne’s Northumbrian Quay ideally placed to handle this work, due to its deep-water and close proximity to open sea.”

Aegir is expected to return from Scotland every three days to complete a total of five lifting operations at the Port of Tyne.

The Aegir is 211 metres long (689 feet long), with a breath of 46.2 metres (151 feet) with two deck cranes, two ROV (remote operating underwater vehicles) capable of operating at depths of 3,500 metres and on-board accommodation for up to 305 people.

*Thank you to readers Michael Dunne-Willows for our picture and Steven Moore for the video.