A photo of CAPE Holland's vibro lifting tool being used offshore

Van Oord to Use CAPE Holland Tool to Build ‘Most Ecological Offshore Wind Farm Yet’

Dutch provider of foundation installation equipment, CAPE Holland, has signed a contract with its compatriot Van Oord to supply Vibro Lifting Technology (VLT) for the installation of monopiles at Hollandse Kust West Site VI, where the Ecowende consortium will build what Van Oord said was “the most ecological wind farm yet”.

A photo of CAPE Holland's vibro lifting tool being used offshore
Photo courtesy of CAPE Holland

Under the contract, CAPE Holland, a Venterra Group company, will provide its CAPE VLT-640 Quad spread for monopile installation work which Van Oord will be performing using its new installation vessel Boreas, starting next year.

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For CAPE Holland, the contract marks the first large-scale project that will use its CAPE Vibro Lifting Technology, which the company says “will be instrumental in contributing to the ambitious ecological goals that allowed Ecowende to win the tender for the wind farm permit”.

The CAPE VLT-640 Quad spread will help considerably reduce piling noise, compared to traditional installation using only a hammer, according to the company.

The monopiles, which will have a diameter of up to 9.3 metres and weigh nearly 1,500 tonnes, will be driven all the way to final penetration using the CAPE VLT tool, where possible, or secured at their assigned depth using an impact hammer.

“I am delighted that after a long period of promoting the Vibro Lifting Technology to the industry, we have been selected for this first large scale implementation of this innovative technique at a Dutch offshore wind farm to use the Vibro Lifting Tool to help reduce the environmental impact during the installation phase,” said Dick van Wijngaarden, Business Development Manager at CAPE Holland.

The CAPE VLT equipment is one of several innovations that will be used in the construction of the 760 MW offshore wind farm that Ecowende, a consortium comprising Shell (60 per cent), Chubu Electric Power (30 per cent) and Eneco (10 per cent), plans to build “in harmony with nature, with minimal impact on birds, bats, and marine mammals”.

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In April this year, Ecowende and the Dutch company GBM Works signed a contract for deploying GBM’s Vibrojet noise reduction technology for the installation of three monopiles at the offshore wind farm.

Ecowende will also implement large-scale mitigation and stimulation ecological measures and an extensive monitoring and research programme above and below the water.

This includes, among other things, building biodegradable reef structures using fruit trees sourced from Dutch fruit farms to offer a place for fish to shelter and reproduce.

At the beginning of 2024, the consortium also teamed up with Robin Radar Systems, MIDO, and DHI to implement a framework for bird and bat monitoring at its offshore wind farms.   

The Ecowende consortium, initially comprising Shell and Eneco, secured the development rights for Hollandse Kust West Site VI in December 2022 and unveiled details of the environmental plans for the 760 MW offshore wind farm last year.

The offshore wind farm will be built approximately 53 kilometres off the coast of IJmuiden and will be able to produce enough electricity to meet around 3 per cent of the current demand for electricity in the Netherlands.

The project, which will comprise 54 wind turbines, is scheduled to become operational in 2026.

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