Scania trucks are helping to bring fair winds to Spain’s energy supply.
Giant parts for wind power foundations, towers and turbines lie scattered majestically around the Asturian port of Avilés awaiting offshore shipment. With each wind farm tower rising more than 150 metres from the sea bed, transporting huge steel pipe piles constitutes a formidable challenge.
When the going gets tough, Transportes Teixu Ménendes is more than ready. With a fleet of 19 heavy-haulage trucks, the specialised haulier takes on loads of up to 50 metres in length and up to 250 tonnes in weight. “That’s what we currently can handle, but in future we will probably need to invest in even heavier new transport equipment to increase the capabilities of the company,” explains Eduardo Rodríguez Sánchez, Transport Director at Teixu.
Scania V8 730 hp
Until recently, loads were usually 100 tonnes. They presently weigh 180 tonnes and will rise to 250 tonnes in the coming months. “Right now the most important challenges we face are the rapid changes in in terms of assignments,” says Rodríguez Sánchez.
Teixu’s latest acquisition is a four-axle Scania V8 730 hp, adapted for heavy-haulage with the characteristic rack behind the cab housing for hydraulics, air tanks, fuel and other specialised equipment. “The Scania 730 hp is perfect for us now, but who knows, in the not-too-distant future we might need even more power,” says Rodríguez Sánchez.
Teixu is firmly established in the Spanish autonomous region of Asturias. Coal mines and steel mills complemented traditional agriculture in the 1960s, but with the coal and steel industries now in decline, Asturias is benefiting from the upsurge in wind power. Globally, Spain is second after Germany in installed wind power, which constitutes more than one-fifth of Spain’s energy supply. Avilés is now a centre for manufacturing this heavy equipment, which is shipped from the Atlantic port to wind farms throughout Europe.
“There is a real boom in renewable green energy in the north of Spain and especially here in Asturias,” notes Rodríguez Sánchez.
In his Scania V8, decorated with La Santina, the Virgin Mary image dear to Asturians, driver Pedro López García carefully manoeuvres the heavy load from the port to the nearby wind power manufacturing facilities. “It’s a short distance from the port to the factory, but you have to be very careful since we carry a six-metre-wide cargo. You must always pay attention at road crossings and continuously use the mirrors.”
With a bright and breezy future for wind power, Rodríguez Sánchez can look forward to even more assignments. “The beautiful thing is that every day brings new challenges and new investment horizons,” he says. “Therefore, it’s vitally important for us that Scania continues to fulfil our needs.”
On Sunday 5 February 2017, 10.8 percent of the electricity used in Europe was generated by wind power.
In 2016 a giant wind turbine off Denmark set a world record for the most energy produced in a 24-hour period, generating enough to power the average US household for 20 years.
The world’s largest offshore wind farm is the London Array, which lies 20 kilometres off the coast of Kent and Essex in England.