Emden signs big offshore port service deal

Offshore service activity in Emden is set to rise (Photo: epas) Offshore service activity in Emden is set to rise (Photo: epas)

The German seaport of Emden has signed a contract to service the country’s biggest offshore wind farm complex being built for operation from year’s end, writes Tom Todd.

The five-year contract, with extension options, covers port services and logistics for the new Hohe See & adjacent Albatros wind farms in the North Sea some 150kms north of Emden. The deal takes effect around September and the wind farms are expected to enter service late this year.

Emden-based port handling company Ems Ports Agency & Stevedoring (epas) will provide the services for wind farm owner and developer Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW). It is Germany’s third-largest public utilities company and its offshore branch in Hamburg is coordinating the project. Canadian energy infrastructure firm Enbridge has a 49.9% share while EnBW has 50.1%.

The first of 87 Type SWT-7.0-154 wind turbines of total 609MW output were being erected in April. Siemens Gamesa was supplying  and installing them and their foundations - 63 of which were positioned last year.

EnBW said 40 ships were involved in the construction of Hohe See and Albatros. Among them and being used to install the foundations are the heavy-lift  jack-up Innovation and the wind turbine vessel Sea Installer ,

The epas contract covers the complete handling of port logistics during the operation of the wind farms. Main tasks include providing direct quay loading and unloading for service vessels and the handling and transport of of containers, passengers and materials. Epas will also handle customs clearance.

Epas services are backed by two flexible Liebherr cranes, handing up to 240 ton loads in tandem and by extensive storage facilities. It is also active as a shipping and chartering agent and a main focus of its  activity is wind energy sector project load handling.

Emden is part of Lower Saxony Ports (NPorts) and is Germany’s westernmost sea port. It is an all-round facility with a tidal deep-water Outer Harbour and is one of Europe’s most significant RoRo ports and Europe’s third largest vehicle handler. Handling more than five million tons, Emden already plays a major role in manufacturing, assembling and shipping wind energy components for offshore and onshore facilities and is a base for the pre-assembly, transport and maintenance of many wind farms in the German Bight.

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