MTS Partners with Robert Wynn & Sons Ltd for Complex Energy Charters

MTS Vengeance successfullycompletes first of 3 long-distance charters with specialist Ro-Ro barge TerraMarique in tow, delivering essential transformers for the high-profile WesternLink cable project


Brixham, 27th October, 2015 – Leadingmarine service provider, Marine and Towage Services Group Ltd. (MTS) and specialistshipping firm Robert Wynn & Sons Ltd. (Robert Wynn) have announced thesuccessful completion of a complex charter to deliver transformers fromRotterdam to Hunterston on the West Coast of Scotland.


The criticaltransmission assets will be installed as part of National Grid and ScottishPowerTransmission’s £1 billion Western Link project – a 385km subsea cable, which willbring much-needed renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses inEngland and Wales.


The charter formspart of a longer-term contract, which will see multi-purpose tug MTS Vengeance continue to support RobertWynn’s unique barge the Terra Marique for a number of further charters in UK and European waters.


Transformers forman essential part of the electrical infrastructure of the United Kingdom. Howeverthey are often very large and extremely heavy components, and notoriouslydifficult to transport. For the Western Link project, a total of 9 transformerswere delivered in 3 separate shipments to the site of the onshore converterstation at Hunterson. The largest of these transformers weighed 325 tonnes,with the entire consignment weighing in excess of 2500 tonnes.


With many of the globaltransformer manufacturing facilities located in mainland Europe, transportingthis crucial equipment to project sites in the UK is a significant logisticalendeavour, requiring the use of a specialist barge and the expertise of anexperienced international tug operator.


The Terra Marique is an 80-metre towedsea-going barge designed to handle abnormal indivisible loads of up to 1350tonnes. This capacity is supported by the ability to receive loads by crane, fromspecialised trailers using conventional Ro-Ro (roll-on/roll-off) or from inlandbarges using its integral semi-submersible capability.


Likewise the TerraMarique can deliver or receive loads via existing infrastructure, riverbanks orthrough beach landing. This specification makes the barge ideal for thetransportation of large abnormal indivisible loads – such as high voltagetransformers.


For the durationof this charter – a three-month assignment involving three separate runs fromRotterdam to Hunterston, via the South Coast of the UK – MTS deployed its versatilemulti-purpose twin-screw tug MTSVengeance to tow the barge from port to port.


In managing allaspects of the towage and sea operation between ports, MTS was able to giveRobert Wynn time to plan the complex loading and offloading operation,resulting in a timely, safe and efficient delivery of the transformers to site.


“A huge nationallysignificant infrastructure project such as Western Link relies heavily onlarge, pre-manufactured components,” said Jon Parslow, Managing Director, MTSGroup Ltd. “The value of an asset such as a transformer to a subsea cablingproject of this nature cannot be understated, since it forms an essential partof the onshore transmission infrastructure required to transfer power to andfrom the grid.”


“That’s whytimely, safe transportation is absolutely critical and requires not only theright vessel for the job, but also the expertise and skill of an experiencedvessel operator.”


Andy Manners,General Manager, Robert Wynn & Sons, added: “Transporting heavy andabnormal loads such as large electrical infrastructure components is ourday-to-day business. However each new charter is unique and the logisticaloperation of loading and offloading requires meticulous planning.”


“Partnering withMTS has allowed us to concentrate on what we do best in the knowledge that ourequipment and our clients’ assets are in safe hands between ports.”     


The contractbetween MTS and Robert Wynn continues into early November, and will see the twofirms complete onward transport of significant electrical infrastructure equipmentfor power generation projects in Northern France, the North East and the SouthWest of the UK.