St Brieuc offshore wind farm

St-Brieuc offshore wind farm: Windar has its welders’ qualifications approved by Apave

Customer story11/23/2020
A first step has been launched in building the future St-Brieuc offshore wind farm: training of the 50 Windar welders who will be responsible for assembling the lower parts of the foundations of the 62 wind turbines that will comprise the farm. To ensure the welders’ skills are of the right level, Windar asked Apave to help. Gaëtan Hemery, Quality Manager at Windar answered our questions.

Can you tell us about Windar in a few words? What will be its role and contribution to the future Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm?

GH: “Windar is a Spanish company specialising in the manufacture of wind turbine foundations and towers. It has installed its manufacturing site on the polder of the commercial port of Brest. Our mission is to manufacture and assemble the lower parts of the foundations (pin-piles), i.e. the legs of the 62 wind turbines for the future St-Brieuc offshore wind farm. Since September, we have started to train qualified welders experienced in various welding techniques and to assemble the parts that form the jacket of the wind turbines. Each jacket is composed of 3 legs which form a tripod and is 75 metres tall. A pin-pile is a steel assembly , weighing 40 tonnes and 10 metres tall. It is the lower part of the jackets. These are the anchor points of the wind turbines. In total, 186 pin-piles will be assembled in our workshop.”[No text in field]

Windar asked Apave to validate the qualification level of the welders who will assemble the pin-piles in your workshops. What do you expect from Apave?

GH: “The welders working on our site already have qualifications, but we wanted to validate their skills according to our normative references. We asked Apave, recognised for its competency in this field, to assist us with this process. Currently, 30 welders have been assessed as having the right skills to carry out the welding on the lower parts of the jackets. Others are going to be trained soon. In total, some fifty welders will follow the training programmes delivered by Apave. A lot is at stake as 186 pin-piles will have to be assembled. Production has already started and is expected to end in the first quarter of 2022.”

What types of qualifications must the welders who will assemble the pin-piles have?

GH: “Conventional welder qualifications that may be specific depending on the equipment used, which is the case for arc welding made using specific, automatic equipment that requires different skills. A TIG qualification is also required for assembling pipes located inside the pin-piles. It should be noted that each steel element is assembled by welds 75 millimetres thick!”

To conclude, what do you take away from your collaboration with Apave?

GH: “Apave was able to meet our requirements and assist us in this important step of validating the welders’ qualifications. We plan to ramp up to 3 x 8 shifts which implies additional staff and new qualifications to be scheduled...”

The St-Brieuc offshore farm in a few words:

Commissioning of the farm is planned for 2023, with 62 8 MW wind turbines installed 16 km off the coast of St-Brieuc. Electricity production is estimated at the annual consumption of 835,000 people.

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