Ramboll Cracks Chinese Offshore Wind Farm Design Market

Danish engineering, design and consultancy company Ramboll has won a contract to design the 400MW Binhai North Phase 2 offshore wind farm in the Jiangsu province, China, developed and owned by the State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC).

The contract makes Ramboll the first non-domestic company to design an offshore wind farm in China. Valued at more than EUR 4 million, the contract includes design of the 100 steel foundations for the wind farm's 4MW turbines.

Ramboll will also design the 400 MW substation, concept for the transformers, breakers and cables, as well as develop the design basis for waves, currents and geotechnical conditions.

The project is a continuation of Phase 1, where Ramboll was the head designer of the turbine foundations.

The wind farm will be located 22 kilometres off the coast in an area prone to earthquakes and very soft soil-conditions, where the seabed consists of deposits washed out by the large rivers, which poses a high risk of soil liquefaction. This puts unique demands on the design and construction of the foundations that will be placed 60 metres below sea bed, in order to support the turbines in depths of 14-18 metres.

“This project is exciting because the soft soil conditions in the Jiangsu province challenges us to design differently from what we are used to in the Northern European market. The technical challenges and the sheer scale of the project requires us to draw on skills from the entire business, and this is where we see the advantages of being a multi-disciplinary consultancy,” Søren Juel Petersen, Global Market Director in Ramboll Energy and Project Director of the SPIC Binhai North, explains.

The first power of the Binhai North wind farm is scheduled for 31 December 2016. SPIC is present in 36 countries and is through its subsidiary SPIC Jiangsu Offshore Wind Power Ltd. interested in engaging with local partners to establish presence on the European offshore wind market.

The Chinese wind power market is the largest worldwide with a global market share of 52%, according to the World Wind Energy Association, and the expectations for the country as the next big offshore market are big.

China is currently planning to install 10GW of offshore wind energy before the end of 2020, which amounts to 25 wind farms the size of the recent Anholt Wind Farm in Denmark.

“As the most populous country in the world, China has recognised the need to utilise more sustainable energy in order to meet the rise in demand of energy and to increase the air quality. The growing offshore wind industry presents an opportunity for increased exports, not only for Ramboll’s spearhead service – designing foundations for offshore wind turbines – but also for all the other disciplines that we provide when designing wind farms. We hope that this milestone project will pave the way for future projects in China,” Petersen said.

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