26 Mar 2018

The offshore wind market in Belgium has truly taken off

This was clearly visible at the fourth edition of ‘Belgian Offshore Days’ – the B2B fair organised by the Belgian Offshore Cluster (BOC), took place on 21 and 22 March at the Ostend Sea P’lace in Ostend. 45 companies active in every area of offshore wind development received more than 800 professionals from the wind-power industry over the two-day event. An extensive conference linked to diverse explanations from top experts was also present at the fair. 

The Belgian Offshore Cluster guides its members through the technology landscape

The Belgian Offshore Cluster (BOC) is the union that brings together Belgian suppliers from the offshore wind industry. The goal of the BOC is to stimulate the collaboration between the companies active in the offshore industry: the B2B fair provides an excellent networking opportunity. But the BOC also wants to guide its members through the continuously changing technology landscape, such as the developments in floating wind-farm technology and the progress now being made in the construction of floating wind farms. ‘If we want to continue playing a prominent role in offshore wind development, we need to be up to date with the innovation wave,’ emphasises Christophe Dhaene, Chairman of the BOC. ‘This is why we are paying extensive attention to floating wind farms on the first day of the Belgian Offshore Days fair. All aspects of floating wind farms will be put under the microscope, from explanations about (large-scale) production and commercialising of floating turbines, to the construction, maintenance and logistics of floating wind farms and projects that have already been realised, as well as new markets.’

Focus on the maintenance of offshore wind farms

Day 2 of the fair zoomed in on the maintenance of wind farms. Experts from Fabriek voor de Toekomst Blue Energy, Inn2POWER, OWI-lab Sirris, Marlinks and Imec delivered an extensive overview of diverse trends, technologies and tools, such as smart wearables, data-driven O&M and dynamic dashboards. It’s an inspirational event that no offshore wind professional can afford to miss! Jean de Bethune, Deputy for the Province of West Flanders, joined Christophe Dhaene, Chairman of the BOC, in opening the fair. Other guest speakers during the two-day event include Philippe De Backer (Belgian Secretary of State for Social fraud, Privacy and the North Sea), Bart Tommelein (Vice Minister-President and Flemish Minister for Finance, Budget and Energy) and Johan Vande Lanotte (Mayor of Ostend).