Port of Oostende
It is the operational mission of the Port of Oostende to become a home basis for the enterprises, that are related to the offshore wind industry and to cluster the knowledge, the technology and the industry in this sector in the Southern North Sea. Therefore, the Port of Oostende makes the necessary investments to facilitate the installation, the management and the maintenance of the offshore wind parks.
As to the installation, one has learnt that every offshore project is different and has its own challenges. The evolution of the quality and the design of offshore components is enormous and experience has learnt that every sea has its own characteristics: what counts for the Belgian waters, does not work in Danish waters.
As to the management of the offshore wind parks, the electricity production at sea needs to be monitored in function of the supply to the grid for an efficient price-setting, influencing the profitability of the investments. Therefore, the wind park managers need a daily interaction with the different subcontractors, service providers and turbine manufacturers. That is why they have chosen to establish their headquarters at the Oostende Offshore Village within the port.
The operations & maintenance of the wind parks are necessary to keep the wind mills operating with an optimal efficiency. Several service companies have installed their offices at the port of Oostende. Considering the permanent growth of the cluster, the port management has therefore developed a sustainable master plan to install the different enterprises on the site, considering aspects of safety, security and sustainability. The implementation of this process is a daily and ongoing business for the port.
In order to support this activity, the Port of Oostende will invest in more and efficient mooring infrastructure, and performing IT-systems in order to secure an efficient communication with the port users and the nautical authorities. More land will be prepared for a ship-building company that is open for innovation and for developing more efficient vessels in function of the needs of the wind park operators.
Blue growth at the Port of Oostende: a permanent challenge
The construction and the maintenance of the offshore wind parks represents an important part of the Blue Growth development at the Port of Oostende. But next the wind energy, the Port of Oostende is also considering other sources of blue energy. Within this ambition, the Port of Oostende supports actively several practical projects going from experimental development up to full scale testing. The wave projects Flansea and Laminaria are excellent examples.
Next to the production of the energy of sea, there are other opportunities that can be considered as to Blue Growth. Considering the actual climate conditions, several companies are investigating solutions for the the rising of the sea level of the North Sea. Next to this, the port is investigating the possibility to establish temporary and permanent test facilities in close cooperation the marine and maritime industry. Finally, the construction of the wind parks gives an opportunity for the offshore aquaculture to establish new projects in cooperation within the renewed framework of marine spatial planning.
The participation of the Port of Oostende with Inn2Power is especially focusing on the development of efficient test facilities inside and outside the port in function of the innovation of the maritime industry. Moreover, the Port of Oostende will consider different aspects of the role of the ports in order to improve the service level towards the offshore industry in cooperation with Offshore.dk. Within the project, the port will be represented by Wim Stubbe, business development manager.