Vestas says that the use of a pre-assembly concept for its offshore wind turbines will help to reduce costs and risks associated with offshore projects.

The company has made its first ever shipment of its V112-3.0 offshore wind turbines, employing for the first time its pre-assembly concept, where turbines are "substantially" assembled and pre-commissioned onshore.

The 16 turbines have been shipped to a project in Sweden. Onshore pre-assembly of the turbines "means fewer expensive hours at sea", said the company.

"Going forward, we want to assemble as much of our offshore projects onshore as possible," said Head of Pre-Assembly for Vestas Offshore Bo Bjerregaard.

Vestas said in a statement that the turbines for the 48 MW Kaarehamn project in Sweden have been shipped to Esbjerg harbour. "Nacelles arrive in Esbjerg with hub and drivetrain mounted," said Bjerregaard. "Before arrival they have been tested as one unit in our production facilities. At the harbour, blades also arrive in plug-and-play mode from production.

"The towers will arrive in two sections and then be fully assembled at the harbour and put in up-right position on the installation vessel before shipment."

Vestas is also planning to ship 73 turbines to the 219 MW Humber Gateway project and 72 for the 216 MW Northwind project from its Esbjerg pre-assembly facility over the next two years.