Project with Lynden companies deliver wind turbine to Stebbins
Tue, Aug 29, 2023
At left, the wind turbine tower is craned into place in Stebbins, AK, and right, Bering Marine landing craft Nunaniq is loaded with wind tower components in Seattle bound for Stebbins in the Norton Sound.
STG Construction has depended on the Lynden companies for almost two decades to help support the important work of bringing renewable wind energy to communities in need of replacing other energy sources like diesel fuel. Alaska Marine Lines and Northland Services have moved many smaller 100 kW wind turbine components to about 30 remote Alaska communities. For the larger EWT 900 and 1 MW wind turbines, Alaska Marine Lines has delivered two to Kotzebue, one to St. Mary's and one to Bethel. Each move involved staging pieces in different areas, watching the weather, and knowing when to move freight via air, ocean, or ground.
Earlier this year, five different Lynden companies teamed up to deliver a turbine from Seattle to Stebbins, AK, along with a 300-ton crane to support the installation. "The sheer amount of support equipment from all over Western Alaska and the crane that we moved from Seattle to Bethel, then on to Stebbins, made this an extremely challenging move," says Brian Ward, Marine Operations Manager. The crane moved on a mainline barge to Bethel, but the wide tracks would not fit on a landing craft, so the tug, Arctic Bear, and barge, Alaska Provider, were put into service to get the crane the final mile to Stebbins.
The multi-modal Lynden move included the Seattle Operations team from Northland Services, Alaska Marine Lines Pricing and Sales group, Knik Construction, Alaska Marine Trucking and Bering Marine all taking on the challenge of moving the enormous blades, towers, and supporting materials to the beaches of remote Western Alaska.
"I have a lot of favorite Lynden employees," says Kim Watson, Procurement and Logistics Manager for STG Construction. "Brian Ward's perseverance, knowledge and answering my calls day and night assures me that he is someone we can rely on," she says. "Lynden keeps you informed over and above what other companies would do."
Transportation to Western Alaska is often a waiting game. "If you can count on anything, you can count on things changing 100 percent of the time with barging," Brian says. "You need open lines of communication to have people onsite and ready for offloading."
Now that the installation of the turbine is under way, STG has booked the crane to be demobilized to Nome. "It's one of the biggest cranes in Western Alaska," Brian says, "and it will take specialized equipment to get it to its destination." The crane breaks down into manageable pieces with the removal of the counterweights and 300 feet of the boom. STG will also remove the wide tracks from the unit, allowing it to fit on a MAFI trailer. The MAFI trailer is one of 12 specialized trailers in the AML fleet for transporting oversized cargo. "There will be multiple pieces to this puzzle," Brian says.