VESSEL REVIEW | Wu Dong De – Chinese-built large crane ship boasts 3,000-tonne lifting capacity

Photo: China Three Gorges Corporation

A new self-propelled azimuth crane vessel was recently handed over to Chinese conglomerate China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG).

Built by local shipyard China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) in compliance to China Classification Society rules, the vessel is named Wu Dong De after a hydroelectric dam that was built and is being operated by CTG on the upper Yangtze River. The vessel will mainly be used for pile foundation installation duties in support of offshore wind farm construction projects but is also capable of transporting piling equipment of up to 3,600KJ grade.

Wu Dong De was developed to provide CTG with a single vessel that can perform the diverse duties of loading, transport, hoisting, and piling that were normally handled by multiple floating assets, thereby significantly reducing operating costs. This multi-role capability also helps ensure piling work can be performed further offshore and under a broader range of weather and sea conditions.

Photo: China Classification Society

The vessel has an LOA of 182 metres, a moulded beam of 46 metres, a moulded depth of 15 metres, and a speed of 8.5 knots. It also boasts an eight-point mooring system, a DP2 system, and an azimuthing crane with a maximum lifting height of 130 metres. The crane’s maximum lifting capacities are 3,000 tonnes with a fixed boom and 2,400 tonnes with the boom rotating freely. Among other things, this allows for the lifting of wind turbines of 10MW capacity.

The crane is installed on the vessel’s open main deck, which has a total area of 6,200 square metres and a maximum cargo capacity of 10,000 tonnes. The deck will primarily be used to accommodate four 2,000-tonne turbine foundations.

For propulsion, the vessel relies on two 3,000kW azimuthing stern thrusters and two 2,000kW side thrusters.

Wu Dong De will be operated mainly in the waters off Fujian and Guangdong provinces in south-eastern China. It is one of two new vessels that were commissioned by CTG for the execution of offshore installation projects, the other being a smaller self-elevating platform with a 2,000-tonne lifting capacity.

Photo: China Three Gorges Corporation

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Wu Dong De
Type of vessel:Crane vessel
Classification:China Classification Society
Owner:China Three Gorges Corporation, China
Builder:China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu), China
Length overall:182 metres
Beam:46 metres
Depth:15 metres
Deadweight tonnage:10,000
Propulsion:2 x azimuthing thrusters, each 3,000 kW
Side thrusters:2 x 2,000 kW
Maximum speed:8.5 knots
Dynamic positioning:DP2
Other equipment installed:Mooring system
Operational area:South-Eastern China

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