Van Oord's newly upgraded offshore installation vessel Aeolus has started installing monopile foundations on the 370MW Norther wind farm in the Belgian North Sea.
In total, the Aeolus will install 45 monopiles, the first of which has already been installed, and transition pieces at the site 23 kilometres off the port of Zeebrugge. The monopile foundations will support the wind farm's 44 MHI Vestas 8.4MW wind turbines and the offshore high-voltage station.
"Installing the 45 foundations is extremely important and meticulous work. They constitute the base for the whole structure. Thanks to Van Oord's expertise and the project experience of the Aeolus's crew, we'll make a successful start with this project," Dennis Sanou, Norther's project director, said.
As the main contractor, Van Oord is responsible for the engineering, procurement, delivery and installation of the foundations for the wind turbines, the offshore high-voltage station and the entire electrical infrastructure, as well as for installing the wind turbines themselves.
In addition to the Aeolus, Van Oord will also be deploying its cable-laying vessel Nexus on the project in the next few months.
Norther is slated for commissioning in 2019 when it will become the largest offshore wind farm in Belgian waters.