February 9 - BLG Logistics and bremenports have signed an operating contract for the 25 ha Offshore Terminal Bremerhaven (OTB), which is expected to have an annual handling capacity of up to 160 wind turbines and foundation elements.

HLPFI reported in December 2014 that the Federal Land of Bremen had initiated a Europe-wide tender procedure to find an operator for the OTB.

"The facility for the pre-assembly and transhipment of offshore wind turbines can be available by 2019," said Ekkehart Siering, Bremen's state councillor for ports. "The OTB guarantees short distances between the industrial production and shipment. This will significantly strengthen Bremerhaven's reputation as a location for the offshore business."

BLG board chairman Frank Dreeke commented: "We believe that the OTB offers excellent transhipment facilities for the entire offshore wind industry. We are not only thinking of new wind farms, but of the growing number of existing wind farms that will require maintenance in future, as well as the regular need for repairs."

The contract signed between the Federal Land of Bremen and BLG grants BLG a concession to operate the terminal at its own expense and risk for 30 years. In return, the logistics company will pay a user fee to Bremen.

Work on the OTB started at the end of 2015 and is proceeding according to schedule, said Robert Howe, managing director of bremenports. Once in operation, the EUR180 million (USD202 million) terminal will be able to cater for two to three jack-up vessels at its 500 m long quay, says bremenports.