Rhenus operates the largest publically accessible private port in Germany at Nordenham: the Rhenus Midgard terminal has developed into an important partner for power generation companies and their suppliers as a result of its transhipment and warehousing facilities.
This applies to both conventional and renewable energy sources. Another company, TenneT, will start using the facilities for its offshore power supply business from this autumn onwards.
“We offer our customers a broad spectrum of different port facilities through our dense network of business centres on the North Sea coast. Energy suppliers are some of our most important customers in this respect. The seaports with their infrastructure and superstructure are ideally suited to transhipping, storing and providing onward transportation for bulk commodities and break bulk cargo or project loads,” says Michael Appelhans, Managing Director of Rhenus Midgard, highlighting their significance. “Nordenham plays its part in ensuring that there are no interruptions to power and heat supplies, which rely on a wide variety of energy sources at the moment.”
Transhipping coal has been the dominant feature at the well-established urban port on the west bank of the river Weser for a long time. This fossil fuel still plays a vital role in power generation. Liquid cargo, including diesel fuel and heavy oil, is also transhipped and stored for individual customers. Rhenus Midgard blends the heavy oils to match the customer’s quality specifications.
“We redesigned and equipped a pier geared towards transhipping subsea cables with our neighbour, Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke, at the turn of the millennium, when offshore wind power was not yet a major topic of discussion. The experience that we’ve gained in operating the unit has created a huge demand for our services as a logistics partner for the wind energy industry on the German North Sea coast,” says Uwe Oppitz, Branch Manager at Rhenus Midgard in Nordenham, summarising developments.
The latest evidence of this is the warehouse logistics agreement signed with the power supply operator, TenneT, this year; Rhenus Midgard in Nordenham has taken over the management of spare parts. The port logistics company will store items like cable drums, converter components, control valves and insulators at an area measuring 10,000 square metres and will supply them to TenneT as replacement materials for any components damaged out at sea when needed.
“Handling subsea cables requires particular care, not least when transhipping them between different modes of transport, as the cables can easily be damaged if they are not moved properly,” Uwe Oppitz explains. The cable manufacturer Nexans also uses the expertise that Rhenus Midgard provides. The West of Duddon Sands offshore wind park is not the first of its kind to benefit from the storage capacity available in Nordenham and the transhipment services offered there. 37.6 kilometres of high voltage cable were transhipped directly from rail wagons and an intermediate storage area on board a freighter in 2013 for the park that is located in the Irish Sea – without any damage occurring.
“The mix of conventional and renewable resources will dominate power generation processes in future too. We’re a reliable and innovative partner for power supply companies with our logistics solutions at Nordenham and other Rhenus business centres,” says Michael Appelhans.
Press release, September 11, 2013; Image: Rhenus AG & Co. KG