Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus has went trough a major overhaul for the foundation installation project on the Norther offshore wind farm.
The installation of the first of a total of 45 foundations marks the start of the Norther offshore wind farm project.
The wind farm will be located 23 kilometers from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge and will have a total capacity of 370 MW.
As main contractor, Van Oord is responsible for the engineering, procurement, delivery and installation of the 45 foundations for the wind turbines, the offshore high-voltage station and the entire electrical infrastructure, as well as for installing the wind turbines.
In addition to the Aeolus, Van Oord will also be deploying its cable-laying vessel Nexus on the project in the next few months.
Van Oord began deploying the Aeolus on offshore wind projects in 2014.
To keep up with the changing offshore wind market, the vessel required a major upgrade, including boosting the vessel’s loading capacity, increasing the number of onboard accommodations to 99, widening the vessel, reinforcing the deck and adding a helideck.
The spud poles – the vessel’s ‘feet’, as it were – have also been enlarged. According to Van Oord, the most critical modification was a new crane with a lifting capacity of 1,600 tonnes. That makes the Aeolus one of the biggest heavy-lift crane vessels in its class and ready to handle the latest generation of foundations and wind turbines.