Smulders, Equans Start Building Hollandse Kust West Beta Topside, Sif to Deliver Jacket Piles

Smulders and Equans, joined by TenneT, have cut the first steel for the topside of the Hollandse Kust West Beta offshore substation, one of the two substations that will connect the wind farms from the Hollandse Kust West area in the North Sea to the Dutch grid.


The steel cutting ceremony took place at the Equans yard in Hoboken, Belgium, on 9 December. The pieces that were cut (nodes and plate girders) are the first building blocks for the topside, with steel fabrication now continuing at the Smulders’ facilities in Arendonk, Balen, and Hoboken.

The Equans – Iemants (subsidiary of Smulders) joint venture signed the contract for the offshore transformer substation with TenneT in 2021, with a commencement date of July 2022. 

The jacket fabrication has already started with the production of the tubulars and is planned to be completed at Smulders’ yards by the beginning of 2024. The four jacket piles will be fabricated by the Dutch company Sif, which announced via social media that it received the order for the project.

Assembly of the topside will start at the Smulders’ facilities in early 2023, after which the topside deck sections will be transferred to the Equans yard in Hoboken, where they will be coupled. All the auxiliary systems and the integration of the free issued medium and high voltage equipment will also take place there.

The final outfitting, commissioning, and testing is expected to start in the second half of 2023 until the beginning of 2025, after which the topside will be installed offshore.

Offshore installation of the jacket is scheduled for the first half of 2024 and the Hollandse Kust West Beta substation is set to be fully commissioned by the third quarter of 2025.

Commenting on the first steel being cut for the new substation, Wim Ten Hoff, JV Project Manager Equans – Iemants, said: “An important milestone is reached with the first steel cut for Hollandse Kust (west Beta). This platform is the 3rd consecutive platform that the joint venture of Equans and Iemants is building for TenneT”.

The joint venture has already delivered the Hollandse Kust Noord platform, which was installed this autumn, while the Hollandse Kust West Alpha platform is currently being finalised at the Equans yard in Hoboken.

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All three contracts with TenneT include the engineering, procurement, construction, offshore installation, connection, and testing of the offshore transformer substation and are the result of a European call for tenders TenneT issued in 2019.

At the beginning of this year, TenneT awarded a consortium comprising Boskalis and Orient Cable (NBO) a contract for the Hollandse Kust West Beta export cable, which will connect the 700 MW offshore platform to TenneT’s onshore grid in the Netherlands.

The contract scope comprises the supply and installation of two 65-kilometre-long 220 kV export cables and a 9-kilometre-long 66 kV interconnector cable between the Hollandse Kust West Alpha and Hollandse Kust West Beta offshore substations.

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