GeoSea, part of the Belgian dredging, environmental and marine engineering group, DEME, has announced that it has begun the construction works for the offshore windfarm Nordsee One in the German North Sea.

The project confirms Germany as an important market for DEME following its recent acquisition of the offshore assets from the German infrastructure group Hochtief.

The Nordsee One offshore wind farm (85% Northland Power - 15% RWE) is situated approx. 40 km north of the island of Juist and consists of 54 wind turbines which will be installed in water depths ranging between 25m and 29m. GeoSea’s T&I contract includes the installation of all monopile foundations and transition pieces. The execution of the project has already started with the successful installation of a first monopile. The entire project will be delivered over a tight schedule of six months.

The Nordsee One project will be executed by the world’s biggest jack-up vessel Innovation that recently completed construction of the nearby Godewind offshore wind farm. After some modifications in order to be prepared for the next challenge, the Innovation, sailing under German Flag with Bremen as port of registry, arrived at the port of Cuxhaven. Cuxhaven will serve as the base port from which the construction works will be executed.

With a length of 147.5m, a width of 44m and equipped with its state-of-the-art Dynamic Positioning 2 (DP2) system, the self-propelled Jack-up vessel is sufficiently configured to efficiently execute offshore heavy-lifting operations and foundation installation works in challenging weather conditions.

The Nordsee One project consolidates GeoSea’s presence on the German offshore wind market following DEME’s acquisition of the Innovation and several other offshore assets from its long-term German partner Hochtief. After successful participation in a series of other offshore wind farms in Germany (Godewind, Baltic II, Borkum Riffgrund, Amrumbank, Alpha Ventus and Borkum West II), this new contract is an important demonstration of clients’ trust in GeoSea’s expertise based on a combination of high tech, know-how, entrepreneurship and local content.

Moreover DEME Group is also investing through its subsidiary DEME Concessions Wind n.v. in the development of another German offshore wind farm: Merkur. Preparations are in full swing.

DEME Group has a long track record in Germany for the construction of marine infrastructure dating back from 1968 (through its subsidiary Nordsee Nassbagger und Tiefbau GMBH in Bremen) and claims that it was an early mover in the development of offshore wind in most of Europe.

The construction of the Nordsee One offshore wind project brings Germany a step closer to achieving significant clean energy and carbon reduction benefits.

SeaPlanner, industry leading marine monitoring and management solution, has been selected by Nordsee One GmbH as their marine coordination and management tool for the Nordsee One far shore wind farm development.

Nordsee One is the first project to benefit from the recent upgrades to the SeaPlanner software, which includes a new mapping platform featuring an enhanced Vessel guard zone alerting and analysis tool. This feature was developed to address the specific requirements of the Nordsee One site, which is in close proximity to a major shipping lane.

Oliver Heinecke, Site & Vessel Coordinator commented: “The location of the Nordsee One wind farm requires a reliable and intricate system to allow us to manage operations safely and efficiently. The capabilities of SeaPlanner, combined with the ability for us to work closely with the team to ensure our specific needs were met, made this the ideal solution.”

As well as providing the vessel tracking, SeaPlanner will also be conducting a communications survey using the groundbreaking and cost effective SeaPlanner Satellite Personnel Tracking Hardware in the view to providing far shore personnel tracking capabilities from the start of the project at the beginning of 2016. This will help project track personnel offshore before any communications infrastructure is available.

Nordsee One adds to SeaPlanner’s portfolio of international projects which have included offshore wind farms Gemini (Netherlands), Sandbank (Germany), Dan Tysk (Germany), Amrumbank (Germany), Thornton Bank I & II (Belgium), Northwind (Belgium); and dredging projects Wheatstone, Ichthys and Gladstone in Australia.

The Nordsee One wind farm has a total area of 41.3 km² and is situated approximately 40km north of the island of Juist between the traffic separation area Terschelling-German Bight and German Bight Western Approach.

Nordsee One ("N1") is in one of the most favourable locations (high wind speed, <30m water depth, travel times within one-day window) in the German North Sea.

By Jake Frith