An accident on a heavy-lift and construction vessel owned by Dutch offshore contractor Heerema Marine Contractors off Taiwan early this week led to the suspension of offshore wind farm installation operations.

Taiwan-based sources said the piling hammer and pile fell off the vessel Aegir during pile driving operations on Monday eight kilometres off the coast of Changhua County.

There were no injuries and no marine pollution has been observed, a source with knowledge of the incident told Upstream.

The pile frame and pin pile were not damaged, however.

Heerema said on its website that the hammer has been retrieved and is back on the deck of the Aegir.

“Foundation installation has been temporarily paused pending investigation. The exact cause of the incident is as yet unknown and will be the subject of a thorough investigation,” the statement said.

Late last year Heerema Marine Contractors, via its Jan de Nul outfit in Taiwan, signed a contract to support the construction of a wind farm project off Changhua for Taiwan’s power utility Taiwan Power Company (TPC).

The workscope covers the installation of 21 four-legged jacket foundations.