Vattenfall has been active in the Amsterdam-IJmuiden port area for more than ten years. With the construction of the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm, Vattenfall is signifanctly expanding its activities in the region. That is why Vattenfall has joined Amsterdam IJmuiden Offshore Ports (AYOP): an association for companies and institutions active in the port area. We discussed the new Vattenfall membership with Guido Schild, Vattenfall’s Offshore Wind Stakeholder Engagement Manager, and Dorothy Winters, Offshore Wind Program Manager at AYOP.
“With the construction of Hollandse Kust Zuid, we are hugely expanding our activities in the Amsterdam-IJmuiden port area. For example, we are going to build a large, new operations and maintenance center that will serve as a hub from where the oversight and maintenance of the new wind turbines will take place”, Guido Schild explains.
Dorothy Winters thinks that Vattenfall joining AYOP earlier this year is a positive development: “When it was announced that Vattenfall had won the award for Hollandse Kust Zuid sites 1 and 2, we introduced ourselves to Vattenfall fairly quickly to build a relationship and familiarize them with the wide range of companies active in the region. Vattenfall will be a very large and important player in the region so naturally we are keen to cooperate with them.”
The strength of the region
The more than 85 AYOP members are companies, small and large, that work in the supply chain of offshore wind, oil and gas. “AYOP has traditionally focused on collaboration and promotion of the region among business partners and governments”, says Dorothy. “We want to show the strength of the region. In our case, this is not so much related to knowledge of the inner workings of a turbine, but of offshore logistics, maintenance and ships. ” And there are plenty of opportunities in the growing offshore wind market: “By sharing knowledge with our members, we have helped them prepare for this growing market. We have the expertise, capacity and logistical conditions. This way we can really offer something to big players like Vattenfall.”
In addition to technical and logistics companies, AYOP’s members include many educational institutions. A great opportunity for cooperation, because during construction Vattenfall expects to need dozens of offshore technical professionals. After full commissioning of the wind farm in 2023, approximately 50 staff will be needed to perform the planned and unplanned maintenance on a variety of installations.
“Because there is a need to act quickly in case of technical problems, operations and maintenance staff is required to reside within a 30-minute drive radius from the base in IJmuiden. This means that we depend on professionals from the region”, explains Guido. According to Dorothy, AYOP can be a connecting factor: “Knowledge institute Techport, for example, is one of our members. This is an institute that focuses on technology and looks at the connection between training courses on offer and the needs of regional companies. This way, as AYOP, we can bring two parties together.”
“The special thing about the Hollandse Kust Zuid Wind Farm is that it is being developed subsidy-free”, says Dorothy. “As AYOP we try to contribute to making this possible by facilitating the best possible logistical support and stimulating innovations. This means there is a good chance that the wind farm will be built according to schedule and costs can be minimized.”
Cooperation in the region has so far been very pleasant. Guido: “Seaport IJmuiden welcomed us with open arms right from the moment it became clear that we were going to build the wind farm. We are developing the new operations and maintenance center together. The Seaport is handling the development and construction and we will then lease it from them. The Amsterdam-IJmuiden port area has the ambition to further develop as a hub for the offshore energy transition. As Vattenfall, we would like to contribute to this with our activities, knowledge and experience.”