Norther N.V. and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy have moved into a new building at the REBO terminal in the Port of Ostend in Belgium.
Norther will use the building for managing the namesake 370MW offshore wind project, while Siemens Gamesa will provide daily maintenance of the 42 7.35MW turbines it provided for the Rentel offshore wind farm.
"In our branch in Oostende we employ about 15 local people. We are looking forward to further expansion and growth for ourselves and for our suppliers in the coming years," said An Stroobandt, CEO at Siemens Gamesa.
The new space will provide 900m2 of warehouse space and 2,100m2 of offices in total. According to REBO, the two companies will together employ a total of 35 local people once they are fully set up.
"We are conscious of the opportunities of wind energy, now and in the future and that is why the international wind turbine companies feel at home in Oostende. Thanks to the offer of training courses, local employees are attracted and thus the offshore wind sector becomes interwoven in the economic fabric of the city," said Johan Vande Lanotte, Chairman of the Port of Oostende.
"The offshore industry now employs more than 460 people in Ostend. For the most part, this is local employment in maintenance and operation of the wind farms. It doesn't include employment in the construction of the wind farms.”
The Norther offshore wind farm will feature 44 MHI Vestas V164-8.0 MW turbines optimized to deliver a maximum output of 8.4MW. It is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2019.
The 309MW Rentel recently saw the installation of the last of its 42 turbines and is scheduled to be fully commissioned by the end of the year.