August 7 (Renewables Now) - Construction of the 370-MW Norther offshore wind project in Belgium has begun with installation of the first foundation into the sea bed this month by the recently upgraded vessel Aeolus.
Norther NV, the company behind the project, said today the 45 foundations for the wind farm represent 47,000 tonnes of steel. Belgian energy group Elicio NV controls 50% in the project, while Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp (TYO:8058), through Diamond Generating Europe, and Eneco Holding NV each have a 25% stake.
The wind farm will use 44 pieces of MHI Vestas’ V164-8.4 MW turbines, to be installed off the Zeebrugge coast. Dutch offshore contractor Van Oord is in charge of the engineering, procurement, delivery and installation of the foundations for the turbines and the turbines themselves, the offshore high-voltage station and the electrical infrastructure.
Van Oord has increased the loading capacity of its offshore installation vessel Aeolus before it started work on Norther. It also widened the vessel, reinforced the deck and added a helicopter deck and a new crane with a lifting capacity of 1,600 tonnes.
The Dutch firm will also be deploying its cable-laying vessel Nexus on the project in the coming months, it said.