The 420-megawatt MacArthur Wind Farm in Australia is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. Mammoet Wind played a key role in MacArthur’s realization by installing 140 3-megawatt wind turbines. Prior to this ambitious wind project, only four turbines of this type had ever been installed anywhere in the world. Relying on extensive experience, operational excellence and cranes that require minimal civil works, Mammoet Wind completed the enormous job three months ahead of schedule – installing one full turbine every eight hours.
Scale plus experience equals unparalleled productivity
Installing large-scale wind farms typically involves many repetitions of a single set of activities. The key to saving time is a combination of scale, efficient project management and operational excellence. For the McArthur project, Mammoet Wind achieved this synergy by pairing its installation expertise with the vast Mammoet equipment base. As a result, Mammoet was able to realize a swift mobilization of resources in the remote Victorian hills. Mammoet Wind compiled a fleet of cranes that could complete the installation well before the deadline. But while time was of the essence, the high profile nature of the project made safety just as important as fast delivery. Therefore, Mammoet Wind was selected for its track record and safety culture.
Before installing the first turbine, Mammoet Wind had already won time by bringing in its narrow track cranes that could maneuver on roads only 5.5-meters wide. With 140 turbines to install, this narrow road requirement resulted in huge time and cost savings on road construction. Using the CC2800 Narrow Track and TC2800 as the two main cranes, together with the LR1300W Narrow Track as the base and mid-tower crane, Mammoet Wind was able to keep up a high installation pace. A total of more than 1,120 critical lifts were carried out over a period of 11 months. The heaviest were the lifts of the nacelles, which could be installed in one piece with the narrow track crane configuration.
The entire project took 15 months from planning to demobilization. Extensive experience in building wind farms enabled Mammoet Wind to ensure fast and safe installation of the turbines and relocation of the cranes between the 140 turbines. The time saved on turbine installation resulted in an early connection to the grid – three months sooner than originally planned.