Ecowende to Install Three Monopiles at Dutch Offshore Wind Farm in ‘Silent Mode’

Ecowende, a joint venture between Shell and Eneco, and the Dutch company GBM Works have signed a contract for deploying GBM’s noise reduction technology for the installation of three monopiles at the offshore wind farm Ecowende will build at Hollandse Kust West (HKW) Site VI in the Netherlands.

Image: GBM Works

GBM has developed an installation method called Vibrojet that combines vibrations on the top of the monopile with GBM’s jetting technology inside the monopile, which makes the installation more silent and thus minimises the impact on marine life, according to GBM.

Ecowende and the Vibrojet developer also highlighted that the technique is more efficient as it allows monopiles to be installed quicker, compared to the traditional impact hammer, as well as deeper, compared to using a Vibro-hammer only.

For GBM Works, the contract represents the first application of Vibrojet on a commercial project.

Marcelo Werneck, Business Development Director at GBM Works, said: “Hollandse Kust West represents our entrance to the offshore installation market and we are proud to contribute to Ecowende on its ecological ambitions. By installing the three monopiles, we will prove the value of Vibrojet® installations, an important step towards broader application of the technology on future projects.”

The Dutch company, a TU Delft spin-off founded in 2016, has been testing Vibrojet within a few projects, including the SIMPLE project, which saw GBM testing the foundation installation method at Maasvlakte in 2020 (SIMPLE I project). The following year, the company announced it would build a prototype machine under the SIMPLE II project in 2022.

Related Article

Currently, GBM is developing its technology further under the SIMPLE III project, which its now-contractor Ecowende is also supporting by providing funds and the opportunity to test the technology at HKW Site VI offshore wind farm.

Within the scope of SIMPLE III, the Vibrojet will be tested offshore on a pilot scale and noise measurements will be made to quantify the sustainability benefits. These tests will be delivered ahead of the HKW VI and will take the Vibrojet to technology readiness level (TRL) 7.

“The SIMPLE III project has been designed to allow the Vibrojet® technology to be assessed in an offshore setting closely resembling conditions at HKW, intending to mitigate operational risks during the commercial installations,” GBM Works’ Marcelo Werneck said.

GBM Works is also participating in the SIMOX project on sustainable installation and decommissioning of XXL monopiles for large next-generation offshore wind turbines.

Related Article

The scope of the contract for the installation of the three monopiles at Ecowende’s offshore wind farm using Vibrojet includes, amongst others, engineering and manufacturing of the jetting system and offshore support during the installations.

To execute the HKW VI project, GBM Works is also working closely with Ecowende’s partners Van Oord, Sif, and Ramboll, the project’s contractors for the installation, manufacturing and design of foundations.

Related Article

Shell and Eneco secured the development rights for Hollandse Kust West VI in December 2022. Last year, the joint venture unveiled plans for the 760 MW offshore wind farm to be built “in harmony with nature, with minimal impact on birds, bats, and marine mammals”.

In September 2023, Ecowende partnered with Waardenburg Ecology, the largest ecological consultancy firm in the Netherlands, to develop a comprehensive ecological programme for the offshore wind farm.

At the beginning of this year, Eneco and Japan’s Chubu Electric Power signed an agreement that will see the Japanese company acquiring a 30 per cent stake in the Ecowende joint venture, in which Eneco holds 40 per cent. Following the completion of the transaction, expected by the end of the second quarter of this year, 60 per cent of Ecowende will be owned by Shell, 30 per cent by Chubu Electric Power, and 10 per cent by Eneco.


Get in front of your target audience in one move! is read by thousands of offshore wind professionals daily.

Follow on: