REBO (Renewable Energy Base Oostende) has once again won an important contract for the port of Oostende. Friday 14th of December 2018 an agreement was signed with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the construction of 58 offshore wind turbines for SeaMade, the last offshore wind farm (for the time being). "The expertise in Oostende is paying off", says Emmanuël Timmermans, business development manager of REBO.

The Rentel project – consisting of 42 wind turbines - has just been completed, and we are already looking forward to the next wind farm to be built from Oostende. In 2020, the REBOsites will be used for the construction and relocation of the towers, nacelles and blades for the SeaMade wind farm. Friday 14th of December REBO signed an agreement for this project with Siemens Gamesa. "It concerns 58 offshore wind turbines of 8.4 MW", says Emmanuel Timmermans.

SeaMade NV is responsible for the simultaneous development of the Mermaid and Seastar offshore wind farms, making it the largest wind farm ever financed and built off the Belgian coast. The financing was completed last week. For the realisation of the wind turbines SeaMade has opted for REBO, which manages and operates the offshore wind terminal in the Port of Oostende.

"SeaMade has a one-year concession to use our sites," says Timmermans. "We are proud that Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has once again opted for REBO. Today we have secured a position in the market, so potential partners first look at us. Oostende is the only port in the southern North Sea that has built up such infrastructure because there is permanent activity here. The Rentel project has just been completed, the foundations for the Northwester II windfarm in Oostende will be installed in 2019, and for 2020 there is now the agreement with SeaMade. Our biggest asset is that we can handle all installations, as well as the operations and maintenance from Oostende. REBO continues to invest in accommodation to keep everything running, and that is paying off".

The 58 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbines will have a total capacity of 487 MW and will be located some 40 and 50 kilometres off the Belgian coast. They will be connected to the country via Elia's contact point. SeaMade will soon supply renewable energy to 485,000 households. This will enable a reduction of more than 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The wind turbines have a hub height of 109 metres and a rotor diameter of 167 metres. This is as wide as the wingspan of two Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world, or twice the height of the Atomium. With their peak height of 193 metres, these will be the largest wind turbines in size installed so far in the Belgian North Sea.

“We are happy to install the turbines for the Seamade project from the port of Ostend, the same way as we did for the Rentel project. With this project we will also reinforce our service organization here in Ostend that will then have 100 Siemens Gamesa turbines under their responsibility.” says An Stroobandt, Managing Director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy bvba.

For the time being, SeaMade is the last wind farm to be built off our coast. The recently approved new Marine Spatial Plan 2020-2026 by State Secretary for the North Sea Philippe De Backer (Open Vld) does provide extra space for renewable energy on the North Sea. De Backer will double the capacity of the offshore wind turbines. In addition to the existing 225 km² zone, there will be an additional 281 km² zone. "This is also good news for REBO", says Timmermans. "The choice to invest in the offshore market has been the right one. Ensuring the continuation is most important. Because once the construction of a wind farm has been completed, the operational aspect and maintenance are always started up here. This way, the activities remain in Oostende. Even in winter, 500 people work here permanently, and they are all people from the region. That is why we will continue to invest and monitor the market in the coming years," concludes Emmanuel Timmermans.