Since 2002, bremenports has been the port authority for the German state of Bremen. It is a private company owned by the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, charged with managing the state’s two major ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven. This responsibility consists of two key characteristics, the first of which is the maintenance of both ports’ facilities including nearly 36 kilometres of quay, 173 kilometres of rail tracks, four locks and more than 15 kilometres of dykes. The second core responsibility of the company is to ensure the ports continue to grow in concert with the demands placed upon them.
A recent decision from the Government in Germany has had a significant effect on bremenports and Bremerhaven’s business support company BIS. It has been mandated that, by 2030, offshore renewables need to produce 25 gigawatts of electricity for the country and wind turbines are expected to comprise a significant portion of this. Because of its prime location, Bremerhaven is expected to be one of the most important ports in delivering and establishing wind turbines, and to this end bremenports is currently involved in a massive investment and infrastructure project called Offshore-Terminal Bremerhaven.
Many turbine manufacturers, suppliers and service providers as well as research institutions are forming a wind energy cluster in the region, unequalled elsewhere in Europe. At the centre of this is the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES), an institution that enjoys worldwide recognition and where both national centres of excellence for rotor blades and maritime structures and plants are based.
Another central pillar of the overall plan is the Luneort wind industry park, a cluster that was mainly realised by the work of the BIS. It is here that well-known businesses like AREVA Wind GmbH, REpower Systems AG, PowerBlades GmbH or WeserWind GmbH are manufacturing multi-megawatt offshore turbines and rotor blades as well as the foundations needed for them. The 80-hectare site, situated in the port itself, has enough space to attach buffers during seasonal peak periods and to load them efficiently onto ships. As not all turbines are destined for offshore use, the site has been developed in such a way as to provide barrier-free access to the nearby A27 motorway, as well as a rail connection to the German rail network, enabling wind components made in the park for land use to be transported without a problem.
With production facilities located on the heavy-load quay in a port suitable for seagoing vessels, optimal conditions exist for turbine manufacturers in Bremerhaven to meet the demands of the expanding renewables market. Moreover, space for future development is available in reserve to enable the Offshore-Terminal Bremerhaven to grow as needed and meet future challenges posed at home and abroad.
Bremerhaven already offers an excellently developed infrastructure to wind turbine developers. It benefits from deep channels and the heavy-load terminals at Labradorhafen, ABC-Halbinsel and Containerterminal 1, where reinforced quays and high-performance cranes are ideally suited to the pre-assembly and loading of the giants of wind power.The site
In fact, in Labradorhafen today, manufacturers already handle nacelles, rotor blades and foundations. On the east and west sides as well as at the head of the dock, the kilometre-long quayside ensures there is sufficient space for large-scale manoeuvres. The large heavy-load area comprises 1600 square metres and can bear up to seven tons per square metre.
In Blexer Bogen, a new terminal is going to be built on the bank of the Weser itself. With a heavy-load quay of half a kilometres in length, a 25-hectare surface area and two to three moorings it will also be able to handle seasonal transportation for the offshore wind industry from 2015. Turbines can be loaded from the factory straight onto ships that have a draft of up to 14.5 metres. As soon as cranes and equipment are available, 160 wind turbines per year can be assembled and loaded onto special ships and jack-ups.
Located between Kaiserhafen II and III, on the car terminal, the ABC-Halbinsel serves as a buffer zone. Here there are ship mooring areas next to stacking grounds where equipment and replacement parts for service and maintenance at sea can be safely stored – very close to where they are needed. The 900-metre quay and a dock with a depth of 10.5 metres allow for full freedom of movement. Access is via the new 305 by 55 metre Kaiserschleuse lock.
As a temporary solution until 2013, Containerterminal 1 will serve as a base port for the construction of the Nordsee Ost I offshore wind farm located 35 kilometres to the north of Helgoland in the middle of the German Bight. Along the 500-metre heavy-load quay, 48 six-megawatt turbines and their foundations are being assembled and loaded. As the terminal has a water depth of 12.6 metres, the wind farm can be reached without transport vessels needing to stop at a lock.
Bremenports is keen for the Offshore-Terminal Bremerhaven to maintain a relationship with turbines for their entire lifecycle. It recognises that despite continuous supervision there is no way to avoid regular maintenance visits to turbines. Indeed, for offshore wind farms, service and maintenance constitute a quarter of the total costs. Breakdowns at multi-megawatt plants leading to production loss can be expensive, and therefore, cost reduction is a key factor in the planning of service and maintenance. Two major factors must be considered - fast access to wind farms without being dependent on good weather, and a base port with necessary effective structures in place. Bremerhaven provides both – and bremenports believes that alongside the world class facilities it is creating, its premier location will help it become the European centre for wind