Hollandia fabrication yard

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A joint venture between Strukton Systems and Hollandia is building transformer stations for the offshore wind industry at the Hollandia fabrication yard on the banks of the rivers IJssel and Lek where they meet in Krimpen aan den IJssel, just outside of Rotterdam. Strukton Systems is a specialist in the design, construction and maintenance of electric infrastructure, and Hollandia is a specialist in design, fabrication and installation of steel constructions and project management of large projects including maintenance, and also builders of some of the most prominent steel structures in Europe, such as the London Eye.

Large jackets weighing over lOOOt and topsides weighing over 1500t are proportions common in the offshore oil & gas industry. Now, for the larger wind farms being constructed offshore, there are transformer stations being built with these dimensions.

Hollandia carries out the steel design and construction part of the contracts, while Strukton takes care of the high voltage equipment and utilities. There are two offshore transformer substation being built in 2012 and 2013. The first of these is the platform for the Riffgat Wind Farm in German waters close to the Dutch/German border.

The jacket was completed late in August and is being followed by offshore installation and testing later in the farm as this article is being written. The second is being built for the DanTysk Wind Farm on the German Danish border of the North Sea, and is due for delivery in May 2013.

For large single jacket/topside contracts such as these there is sufficient space in the Krimpen yard. Building multiple jackets for wind turbine foundation platforms requires far more space, and is seen as being too risky a venture for these two companies. The larger HVDC platforms would also challenge the space available, however transition pieces could be an option for the Krimpen yard in the future.

Strukton Hollandia JV source their steel only from Europe, usually from Dillinger in Germany. Their requirements for quality and content are much easier to control using steel from known sources. The stable steel price from these sources also makes the whole project safer.

The joint venture is busy with tenders for new orders for the future. Their preference is for a single complete build, installation and commissioning contract. In these contracts their own project managers are responsible from the start to hand over of the project rather than having to work with several sub-contractors who may have been directly awarded various sections of the order by the developer.

Contracts in the UK sector have tended to favour multiple contractors in the past, but this could be changing now.

In the future when the really large wind farms start being built they foresee problems for the industry, as at this moment there are neither sufficient fabrication yards for foundations nor is there sufficient cable production available close enough to where the wind farms will be situated.

Dick Hill