With a Chinese partner in the construction of the largest wind farm in Croatia

Project name: Construction of 156 MW wind power plant Senj and SS Brinje 220

Client: Norinco International Cooperation Ltd.

Contractor: HELB Ltd.

Year of implementation: 2020. – 2022.

Location: Senj and Brinje

In December 2021, with the push of a button, the 156MW Senj Wind Power Plant was put into trial commission. It is the largest wind park in Croatia and includes the construction of 39 wind turbines with a single power of 4 MW on an area of 65 square kilometers, of which 29 wind turbines are located in the area of the town of Senj, and 10 in the area of the municipality of Brinje. This is the first major Chinese investment in Croatia worth around 230 million euros. And it all started with the excellent cooperation of Norinco, Youtone, and HELB.

Excellent cooperation and diverse scope of work led to enviable results

HELB started working in the summer of 2020, and everything started with cabling. In the area where the largest wind power plant was planned, there was nothing at the beginning, so it was necessary to start with the road construction, and then with the digging of trenches in which the cables were laid. After that, the work on the SS Senj and the extension of one OHL Feeder in Brinje, at the existing transformer station started. From SS Senj the cables were laid to the wind turbines. On a very demanding terrain, the HELB team worked for almost two years, and the scope of the work was diverse. Cable terminations and connections were made on the wind turbines, and cables leading to the substation were laid and connected. The pipes for the optical cables were laid, copper grounding and cable manholes were placed into which the optics were connected. In SS Senj, HELB did the installation and commissioning of the medium voltage plant, installed, and commissioned the AC and DC distribution, delivered, connected, and tested the cables between the transformer and MV plant, and delivered the steel equipment supports for the outdoor plant. HELB delivered and installed steel gratings, as well as complete outdoor lighting and lightning protection. Also, assembled, tested, and commissioned the part of the plant for which it was in charge. In SS Brinje 220, HELB did a “turnkey” project, where it made the main design and supplied all the necessary equipment, which was then installed, tested, commissioned the OHL bay for the connection of SS WF Senj

Demanding terrain and new technical solutions

The implementation of the project was marked by bad weather conditions, pandemic restrictions, and very demanding terrain, but this is also the first project where HELB used the cable laying machine. A loader was purchased, i.e. a towing vehicle that can withstand the load, to which the trailer is attached, on which the cables are placed and then pulled and laid. They also used various new technical solutions such as excavators with trailers, winches, and trucks.

An interesting fact is that even the Chinese television station Nihao Europe did a feature on this great cooperation between Croatia and China, and interviewed HELB director Stjepan Horvat.

Li Shouzhi, Manager, Norinco International Cooperation Ltd.

,,As the investor and builder of the wind farm Senj, NORINCO is very pleased with the professional services provided by HELB, including medium voltage cable laying, connecting and testing, Senj substation construction, and Brinje switchyard expansion. HELB has demonstrated excellent professionalism and dedication. We warmly recommend cooperation with this company in terms of professional excellence.”

Li Linghao, Commercial manager, Norinco International Cooperation Ltd.

,,We are very satisfied with the cooperation with HELB. The project management team from HELB is very professional and efficient. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team remained highly efficient, which played a key role in finishing Wind farm Senj on time. At the same time, HELB’s fast response to emergency situations guarantees the success of the Senj wind power plant.”

April 5, 2023

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