Vole au vent makes way for new offshore wind players in Port Oostende

Anyone who is watching the skyline of Oostende has already noticed that the installation vessel of Jan De Nul Group, the Vole au vent, is no longer located at the REBO terminal. On 9th November the Vole au vent completed its project in Port Oostende and is making way for other installation vessels, including Fred Olsen's Bold Tern. 

Over the past six months, the Vole au vent has installed the foundations of the Northwester 2 wind farm: 23 foundations for wind turbines and 1 foundation for the high-voltage station. The construction of the wind farm, 55 km off the coast of Oostende, is now entering the next phase. In Schiedam, the Vole au vent is being prepared to install the wind turbine components: blades, tower elements and nacelles from Vlissingen on the foundations. The commissioning of Northwester 2 will then take place again from Oostende, with the vessel Acta Orion, which will call at the port every two weeks from the end of November. Northwester 2 must be operational by 2020. 

In the meantime, Van Oord is working from Oostende on the installation of the electricity cable of the Norther wind farm. This is the densest wind farm off the coast, 23 km from Oostende and has 44 MHI Vestas wind turbines. The installation of this cable is done with the cable-layer Nexus. Van Oord also organises the transport from Oostende of the offshore technicians who maintain the Dutch wind farms Borssele 3 and 4. 

In the middle of next week Port Oostende expects the Bold Tern, who will carry out maintenance work on the blades of the wind farms from Oostende for six months: Belwind and Northwind

2020 will be a busy year for the REBO terminal. By analogy with the construction of the Rentel wind farm in 2018, Otary and Siemens Gamesa are building the furthest (57 km off the coast of Oostende), the largest and last wind farm in the current concession zone: SeaMade; with 58 turbines of 8.4 MW; this represents a total capacity of 487 MW. Once again, nacelles, tower elements and blades will arrive at the REBO terminal, be stored and prepared for installation at sea. More than half of the foundations have already been installed in the concession area and activity will continue throughout 2020.

In order to bring further installation and maintenance activities to Oostende, REBO will continue to profile itself internationally. In Copenhagen, from 26 to 28 November the international offshore wind exhibition will take place, an organisation of WindEurope. Port Oostende and REBO, together with 16 other Belgian companies, will present themselves to the top players in the blue energy business. 

The continuity of the offshore wind activities shows that Oostende is THE offshore wind hub for the southern part of the North Sea. The development and maintenance of the offshore wind farms are currently the most important components of the Blue Economy.

Port Oostende focuses on continuity, growth and employment within five pillars: Blue Economy, Bulk & Project Cargo, Cruises & Ferry, Industry and the Fishery sector. These sectors will be further developed on the basis of two foundations: prioritisation of safety, health and the environment and, secondly, support for innovation and development.