Van Oord's jack-up vessel Aeolus is at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind's pre-assembly site in Vlissingen to load the first turbine components for the Norther wind farm and install them in the Belgian North Sea.
The wind farm comprises 44 MHI Vestas V164-8.4 MW wind turbines to be installed on monopile foundations some 22 kilometres offshore Zeebrugge. The Aeolus will load, transport, and install the units in sets of four.
Norther began the required preparatory offshore work in early 2018. In August 2018, the first part of the actual installation of the offshore wind farm started with the installation of the first foundations. At the same time, the foundation for the Offshore High Voltage Station (OVHS) was installed, followed by the installation of cables.
The 370MW Norther wind farm is scheduled for commissioning in the third quarter of 2019 when it will become the largest offshore wind farm in Belgian waters.
Norther NV, a partnership between Elicio and Boreas – a joint venture between Eneco and Diamond Generating Europe, is responsible for the development, the installation, and the operation of the project.
Dennis Sanou, Norther project director, said: "This is quite an important phase. The wind farm is now being prepared for completion. The electricity produced by this new generation of wind turbines will contribute significantly to Belgium's climate objectives. The efforts of its shareholders Elicio, Eneco, and DGE constitute an important contribution to the energy transition."