Van Oord has completed the Belwind Phase | Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. On Thursday 9 December 2010 Belwind was officially opened.
The Belwind Phase I Offshore Wind Farm was completed in the record time of 15 months and will now provide 175,000 households with green energy. Van Oord was responsible for the design and construction of all of the foundations, the complete electrical infrastructure and the connection to the onshore grid. The Belwind Phase I Offshore Wind Farm includes 55 wind turbines and one offshore high voltage station. The farm is located approximately 50 km off the coast of Belgium, in waters ranging from 15 to 32 m deep. Belwind Phase I is the furthest operational offshore wind farm in the world to date. Project execution began in August 2009. In February 2010, the 56 foundations, consisting of monopiles weighing 400 tonnes each and transition pieces weighing 160 tonnes each, were successfully installed. Between April and August 2010, the 55 Vestas V90 wind turbines, each capable of producing a maximum power output of 3 MW, were installed on the foundations.
Van Oord has also commissioned the construction of a transport and installation vessel for constructing offshore wind farms. The vessel will be constructed at the Sietas shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.
The extremely innovative and advanced transport and installation vessel to be built for constructing offshore wind farms will be 139 m long, 38 m wide, with a designed draught of 5.7 m and a top speed of 12 knots (see artist impression). The vessel will be fitted with a crane capable of hoisting 900 tonnes and accommodation for 74 people. The vessel will be delivered in September 2012.
For the past few decades, Van Oord has been involved with the construction of various offshore wind farms in the North Sea, sometimes as a contractor for parts of farms and sometimes as an EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) contractor. Belwind is Van Oord's second EPC contract in the offshore wind farm industry. In 2007, Van Oord successfully completed the Princess Amalia wind farm off the coast of IJmuiden, the Netherlands. Both projects confirm Van Oord's leading role on the market for offshore wind farms in northwest Europe.
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