Van Oord will deploy the Nexus, its first cable-laying vessel for constructing offshore wind parks, with a two-day event on the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam. On Saturday, 7 March, the vessel will be christened by Ms J. Damen-Carli, the wife of Mr K. Damen, member of the supervisory board at Van Oord and chairman of Damen Shipyards Group, in the presence of Van Oord’s guests and employees.
The vessel was built by Damen Shipyards Group at its shipyard in Galati, Romania. The modern vessel is nearly 123 metres long and more than 27 metres in the beam. The Nexus has been equipped with a cable carrousel with a capacity of 5,000 tonnes to install long export cables.
The deck layout is the result of in-house engineering and development in anticipation of future market requirements for challenging cable installation works. There are accommodations for 90 people on board. Nexus is the Latin word for connection; a suitable name for a ship that will connect offshore wind turbines with each other and to the mainland.
The first project for the Nexus will be the Gemini offshore wind park that will be built 85 kilometres off the coast of Groningen. The construction phase has started and will be fully operational in 2017. The 600 MW wind park will consist of 150 wind turbines with a capacity of 4 MW each. After construction, the park will deliver electricity to more than 1.5 million people. Van Oord is involved in the Gemini project in two ways.
First, as a 10% shareholder in the project, and second as the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor that will build the wind park. The EPC contract encompasses supplying and installing the foundations, the entire electrical infrastructure, including the offshore and onshore high voltage stations, the cables, and the installation of the Siemens wind turbines. Van Oord will be deploying several vessels, including the specially developed offshore installation vessel Aeolus and the cable-laying vessel Nexus, for the construction of the wind park.
Van Oord’s strategy is to further expand its role as an EPC contractor for the construction of offshore wind parks. To that end, Van Oord is investing in specialised vessels and recently acquired Ballast Nedam Offshore’s equipment and operations.
Pieter van Oord, CEO: ‘The Nexus is tangible proof of the strength of the Dutch maritime cluster. The ship was built on the order of a Dutch ship owner, at a shipyard owned by a Dutch company, to be used to build the largest Dutch offshore wind park that will contribute significantly to the implementation of the Dutch Energy Agreement.’