June 25 - Van Oord's first transport and installation vessel for the construction of offshore wind farms is now operational.
The Aeolus was built at the Sietas yard in Hamburg and is 139 m long, 38 m in breadth, has a design draught of 5.7 m and a cruising speed of 12 knots.
The vessel is equipped with a crane that can lift more than 900 tonnes and has accommodation facilities for 75 crew. The installation vessel can be jacked up and can work in a water depth of up to 55 m.
The vessel's first project will be the construction of the Luchterduinen offshore wind project, which is an Eneco energy company and Mitsubishi Corporation assignment.
This project will be built 23 km off the Dutch coast near Noordwijk and Zandvoort. The wind farm will consist of 43 Vestas V112 wind turbines.
By autumn 2015, the wind farm will provide 129 MW, enough to power almost 150,000 households.
As the EPC contractor, Van Oord is responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the foundations, the complete electrical infrastructure, including the offshore transformer station and the installation of the wind turbines.
The vessel is already completely occupied for 2014, 2015 and 2016. After Luchterduinen, the vessel will be deployed on the Gemini project, where 150 wind turbines are being installed 55 km off the coast of Schiermonnikoog in depths of 35 m.
The commissioning of Aeolus is part of the vision and strategy of Van Oord to expand the Offshore Wind Projects business unit.
The Dutch Energy Agreement, which states that in the next ten years the generation of sustainable (renewable) energy must grow from 4 percent to 16 percent, makes clear that the Aeolus offshore installation vessel can contribute to these objectives.
"The naming and commissioning of a new vessel is always an exceptional event' says ceo Pieter van Oord. "And that's certainly the case now we have added a new type of vessel to our extensive fleet. Furthermore, this vessel gives us the opportunity to extend our leading role in the construction of offshore wind farms. In the next few years, the construction of the Luchterduinen and Gemini wind farms means that the Netherlands can demonstrate that it is focusing seriously on the generation of sustainable energy and the implementation of the Energy Agreement."