Heavylift / Breakbulk
Wind farms «right on its doorstep»
Over the past few years Bremerhaven has developed into a European centre for the offshore wind industry, and the company Bremenports has played an important role in that development. One of the firm’s tasks is planning and developing the port infrastructure necessary for the handling of wind turbines, and the Offshore Terminal Bremerhaven (OTB) is a critical part of that infrastructure.
What challenges should the ports in Bremen and Bremerhaven prepare for in order to hold their own against the international competition? This is one of the questions being asked in the free and Hanseatic city of Bremen, where economic, ecological and social sustainability have increasingly moved to the foreground for the North Sea port. In a recently-published paper entitled Concept 2020/2025, developed under the leadership of the port operating company Bremenports, the state’s ports senator Martin Günthner outlined his plans.
The concept has left no doubt that the Offshore Terminal Bremerhaven (OTB) is necessary for the creation of optimum conditions for wind-energy logistics on the banks of the river Weser. «The planned assembly and shipping facility for very heavy wind turbines is the centrepiece of our port planning activities for this decade. Bremerhaven has developed into a leading location for the national offshore wind farm industry and will benefit from the revitalisation of this business.»
Focus on building the OTB
The new facility will forge the link in the logistics chain that will connect production with installation. It will encompass some 25 ha and feature quays totalling more than 500 m in length, with adequate space to accommodate two to three of the latest generation of jack-up vessels, which are used for the installation of offshore wind farms.
A public discussion held at the end of September represented a further milestone in the planning approval process for the OTB. A call for tenders will be issued in early 2015 to find a suitable operator for the terminal.
Staying the course for wind power
Bremenports has said that although the German government has lowered its ambitions somewhat with regard to the transition to renewable sources of energy, it is clear that in future wind power production will continue in the North and Baltic Seas. By 2030 approximately 15,000 MW of wind generation capacity is expected to be installed offshore. Over the next few years, offshore wind farms requiring several hundred turbines a year will be built within 200 nautical miles of Bremerhaven. Within a 300 nautical mile radius even more turbines will be installed, because in that range foreign wind farms can also be reached from the port. Bremerhaven lies directly on the delta of the Weser, which places the construction sites of future North Sea wind farms «right on its doorstep». it