Offshore - Green light for major German wind port

GERMANY: The German port of Bremerhaven is set to become a major service point for the North Sea offshore wind sector after the city authority said it would press ahead with plans to develop the facility.

By 2014, a large terminal is to be operational with heavy-load assembly and loading facilities for offshore wind technology. Construction of the terminal is expected to begin in 2012. Due to growing offshore wind demand, existing facilities at the port will soon be used to capacity, according to the senate.

Both Multibrid and Repower Systems have assembly facilities for their offshore turbines at Bremerhaven, while manufacturers PowerBlades and WeserWind, which build offshore wind turbine foundations, also have bases at the port.

The city-state of Bremen's senate has already kicked off the project by inviting private partners to become involved in building and operating the facilities.

Ralf Nagel, senator for the economy and ports for the city-state of Bremen, says: "There is no doubt, the senate wants this special port and will build it." But the project could encounter problems over the choice of site due to issues such as nature protection and restrictions from locks or competing port activities.