Europe’s First Offshore Center for Wind Energy at Sea to Open in Rotterdam
New land for wind farms at sea
The Port of Rotterdam has revealed plans to develop Europe’s first Offshore Center for wind energy at sea and the oil & gas industry. The new center reflects the Port Authority’s policy of pursuing the growth of Rotterdam’s cluster of businesses in the offshore and maritime sectors and also to underline the port’s commitment to energy transition.
The 70-hectare site, with 1,600 meters of quayside, is located at Maasvlakte 2 – a recent expansion of the port into the North Sea adjacent to the mouth of the Maas River at the entrance to the harbor. Several companies have already expressed an interest in locating here, and the Port Authority expects the first tenants to move in during 2019.
‘The creation of wind farms at sea is a huge growth market. This requires a specialized port area for the installation and maintenance of the farms, which we would like to provide. This is consistent with our efforts to be the offshore hub of Europe and play a leading role in the energy transition,’ stated Allard Castelein, CEO of Rotterdam Port Authority.
The continued development of the existing cluster is crucial to ensure that current expertise remains at the same high standard, ensuring that new economic activities continue to be attracted to the city and the port. The deep water location, adjacent to the North Sea, enables a number of activities to be clustered, and for businesses to benefit from each other’s presence.
Synergy and growth
A group of leading businesses work together in the offshore wind, decommissioning, and oil & gas markets with common activities such as construction, assembly, heavy lift, logistics, mobilizations, and demobilizations. With continued growth in both offshore wind parks and oil & gas decommissioning, the timing is right for the establishment of a center that can help generate synergies and provide a platform for growth. The Center also offers the potential for expansion in the future with a further 40 hectares and 1,000 meters of quayside.
Key policy focus
Rotterdam has long been a key location for the maritime and offshore industries and is currently home to around 900 businesses active in these sectors. For a number of years, offshore has been a policy focus for the Port Authority, with wind energy and decommissioning as key supporting areas. This has led to, amongst others, the commissioning of the Pioneering Spirit (the world’s largest vessel) and the establishment of SIF (a company specializing in the production of wind turbine foundations).
A number of Rotterdam businesses signed a manifesto last year for the formation of the ‘Rotterdam Offshore Wind Coalition’. The following step in the process is the establishment of Offshore Center Maasvlakte 2 (OCMV2).
Source: Port of Rotterdam8 June 2017