Pile-Driving Incident Aboard Heerema Heavy Lift Ship

The heavy lift ship Aegir (Heerema)

Published Jun 18, 2020 2:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, the Heerema-operated heavy lift vessel Aegir experienced a dropfall incident while installing a pin pile at a new offshore wind farm site off the coast of Taiwan. 

According to Heerema, there were no injuries resulting from the incident and there was no environmental impact. The pin pile and the piling frame suffered only minimal damage, and the pile-driving hammer has been retrieved and returned to the Aegir's deck. 

A video circulating on social media appears to show the pin pile dropping vertically downward, followed closely by the hammer. 

"Work had just started on this project, and currently, foundation installation has been temporarily paused pending investigation. The exact cause of the incident is yet unknown and will be the subject of a thorough investigation," Heerema said in a statement.

Heerema is a subcontractor to offshore services and construction company Jan de Nul on the Greater Changhua wind farm project in the Taiwan Strait, which is located about 20 nm off the coast of Taiwan's Changhua County. Danish offshore wind firm Ørsted is the developer for the site and holds lease agreements on four offshore blocks with a planned total generation capacity of 2.4 gigawatts. 

Heerema's role in the project is for the transport and installation of 111 turbine foundations and two offshore substations at the Greater Changhua 1 and 2a sites. It is also handling onshore marshalling, seabed preparation and scour protection.