At the end of July Van Oord dredging and marine specialists head-quartered in Rotterdam the Netherlands reached an agreement on the acquisition of the offshore wind activities of Bilfinger Marine & Off-shore Systems GmbH a German company active in the engineering construction and the installation of foundations for offshore wind parks and harbor construction. The agreement covers the acquisition of assets and employees related to the offshore wind activities. The acquisition is subject to approval by the Bundeskartellamt the German competition (anti-trust) authority.
The acquisition is part of Van Oord’s strategy to expand its offshore wind projects business unit. In line with this strategy Van Oord is also investing in a major modification of its installation vessel Aeolus. Aeolus’s current crane has a lifting capacity of 900 tons and will be replaced by a crane with a lifting capacity of 1600 tons. At the same time its transport capacity will be extended. This will enable Van Oord to continue to install the increasingly larger foundations and heavier turbines at wind farms. The crane has been ordered from Huisman a heavy installation equipment specialist based in Schiedam/ Rotterdam. The modification of the Aeolus is scheduled to be completed in early 2018.
In recent years Van Oord’s wind division has been strengthened through the acquisition of Ballast Nedam’s offshore operations as well as the arrival of heavy lift installation vessel Svanen the Aeolus and cablelaying vessel Nexus.
Van Oord continues to grow its activities in this sector and is currently completing the construction of the Dutch Gemini offshore wind farm. Recently the installation of the British Burbo Bank Extension off-shore wind farm foundations for Dong Energy Denmark’s largest energy company was completed.