Combilift, the largest global manufacturer of multidirectional, articulated forklifts and straddle carriers, today announced its move into offshore wind sector with the launch of a new product designed to meet the load handling demands of large-scale offshore wind manufacturers.

Blades weigh about 70t

The scale of the requirements of those developing offshore wind equipment has driven the need for bespoke handling solutions across the supply chain. The blades being moved for example are currently up to 115m long: that’s longer than the Aviva Stadium football pitch, and weigh about 70t.

Recognising the unique requirements of the offshore wind sector, Combilift has spent more than two years developing the technology for the Combi-LC (Combilift Load-Carrier).

The Combi-LC [patent pending design], allows for the movement of wind turbine blades and towers through production stages, and to storage locations – which can sometimes be as far as 5km apart.

The equipment involves two vehicles working in tandem, communicating and operating simultaneously to secure the load at both ends, and move it safely to another location.

Siemens Gamesa, one of the world’s largest offshore wind suppliers, has become the first company to leverage the new technology by signing a multimillion-euro order for a number of the bespoke Load Carriers, and Combilift is in active discussions with other offshore wind companies with similar demands.

More than €50m in revenue per year

Combilift expects to generate more than €50m in revenue per year in this market segment by 2026.

Josh Moffett, heavy equipment manager at Combilift, said: “We are thrilled to have launched this new product – the Combi-LC, and we hope it will act as a gateway for us to further progress within our venture into the wind energy sector.

"The scale of offshore wind projects around the world leads to a very unique set of challenges, one of which being the ability to transport the very large components that make up a wind turbine. We recognised this and used our expertise in load handling to develop a solution to support those in the industry. The product is specifically made to order and therefore can be uniquely customised to fit specific applications.”

Additionally, Combilift has also launched two other new products – the Combi-AGT, and Combi-Connect.