Despite significant uncertainty about the pace of Germany’s offshore wind development programme, the North Sea port of Emden is pressing ahead with plans to upgrade facilities to serve as an installation base.
A technical feasibility study for the port at Rysumer Nacken was completed last month by consultancy IMS. It concludes that it is possible to develop the site into a "large component port" capable of housing production facilities and serving as an offshore wind installation base. A 400m long quay would allow two installation jack-ups to dock at a time.
Conducting a macro-economic analysis of the plan is the next step. This will focus on the port upgrade’s potential to generate jobs and create value while comparing these to the costs of infrastructure and nature protection compensation measures. In parallel, Niedersachsen Ports will seek partners to implement the project.
Permitting could be completed by 2017/18, according to a Niedersachsen Ports spokesperson, speaking with Windpower Offshore. With this schedule, offshore wind installation vessels would begin to use the port after 2020.
Much depends on the macro-economic analysis. "At this point, the most important result is that the project is technically feasible and compatible with the site at the river Ems estuary," said Hans-Joachum Uhlendorf, managing director of Niedersachsen Ports, a partner in the project along with the city ofEmden and the chamber of industry and trade (IHK) for the Ostfriesland region and Papenburg. The project has the support ofLower Saxony’s state government.
Meanwhile, the consultancy that conducted the feasibility study, IMS, was recently bought by Ramboll. IMS' offshore wind experience is impressive and has included work on Riffgatt, Global Tech I, Gode Wind II, Nordsee Ost, Amrumbank West. Innogy Nordsee 1, London Array, DanTysk and Baltic 2.