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Ships on Legs

      3/25/2008

Ships on Legs

Most ships do not have legs. But a jack-up barge has six, protruding high into the air when the ship is in transit. Extending to a length of 48m from the bottom of the ship, and penetrating up to 5m into the sea bed, the "legs" of these ships provide a stable "ground" in a place where there is only roiling water. As the legs push down, the ship is lifted above the waves. Purpose-built at a Chinese shipyard, the £60m jack-up barge MPIO Resolution is an extraordinary piece of engineering to help with the construction of offshore wind farms.

Jack-up barges rise out of the water to form a stable platform. With a solid platform achieved, the windmill is fixed into place using a crane from the ship. These procedures are becoming more common as the drive goes on to increase wind power.

Resolution’s most recent appointment has been to help with construction of the 60-turbine Robin Rigg scheme in the Solway Firth, about six miles off the south west coast of Scotland. On average, it takes about 24 to 36 hours to install wind turbine foundations from a vessel like the Resolution. At locations where drilling is required, it can take closer to three days.


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