Construction of Belgium’s largest offshore wind farm kicks off

When finished in 2019, wind farm ‘Norther’ will supply 400,000 households with green energy

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 — From 2019 onwards, 400,000 families will have their sustainable energy supplied by Norther, the largest Belgian offshore wind farm. The offshore installation vessel Aeolus was upgraded in order to install the first foundation into the sea bed this month. There will be a total of 45 foundations, which will amount to about 47 million kilos of steel.

For two years Norther, the company behind Belgium’s largest offshore wind farm, had been looking forward to the start of the actual works at sea. For these works, the company entered into a collaboration with the renowned Dutch hydraulic engineering enterprise Van Oord.Now the day has finally arrived for the vessel Aeolus to start installing the 45 foundations for the wind turbines at sea. Van Oord remodelled the Aeolus in 6 months time, so that it would be able to transport the gigantic foundations for the wind turbines over sea. Not an easy task, because the average foundation is about 67 meters high and weighs around 1 million kilos (1000 tons), the transformator weighs 2,5 million kilos. This means about 46,5 million kilos of steel will be constructed at sea in the next few weeks, amounting to a total length of three kilometers.

“Installing the 45 foundations is extremely important and meticulous work. They constitute the base for the whole structure. Thanks to Van Oord’s expertise and the project experience of the Aeolus’s crew, we’ll make a succesful start with this project.”
Dennis Sanou, Norther’s project director

Largest offshore wind farm in Belgium

The wind farm is located 23 kilometers off the coast of Belgian port Zeebruges and has a total capacity of 370 megawatts, the largest production capacity of all Belgian wind farms. As from 2019, Norther will be able to supply around 400,000 households with green energy. This way, the project is actively contributing towards Belgium’s 2020 climate targets.

Norther has appointed Van Oord as project leader in charge of designing, sourcing, delivering, and installing the 45 foundations for the wind turbine generators (WTGs), the offshore high voltage station (OHVS), the entire electrical infrastructure, and installing the wind turbines. In addition to the Aeolus, Van Oord’s cable-laying vessel Nexus will be deployed to the project in the months to come.

Modifications

In 2014, Van Oord’s Aeolus was brought into service for the construction of offshore wind farms. It has since proven its worth and reliability. However, in order to be able to construct the Norther, the Aeolus needed some radical outfitting changes.Its load capacity was increased, the ship was widened, the deck was reinforced and the ship now boasts a helicopter deck. Also, the spud cans, which are the feet of the ship, were extended.

The most crucial part of the modification, the new crane with a 1,600-tonne lift capacity, enables the Aeolus to install Norther’s newest generation of foundations and wind turbines. It is now one of the largest vessels in its class.

About Norther :

Norther NV is an offshore wind farm company (50% Boreas (a JV between Eneco & Diamond Generating Europe) – 50% Nethys) with an anticipated capacity of 369.6 MW that will be built in the Belgian North Sea – 22km of the coast of Zeebrugge. Norther NV is responsible for the development, construction and operations of the offshore windfarm Norther. The offshore windpark is one of the biggest in Belgium. Total investment cost of the project is estimated at 1.3 billion euro. Norther NV will reach its financial close in October 2016 and will start building beginning of 2019.

Press Contact :

Mark Van Hamme
Communication Manager

  +32 473 468 499

  mark.vanhamme@norther.be

NORTHER NV | Industriepark West 73 9100 Sint-Niklaas Belgium

By |2019-02-04T14:19:09+01:00August 7th, 2018|Media|Comments Off on Construction of Belgium’s largest offshore wind farm kicks off

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