Bert Korbeeck, Algemeen directeur Wesco IJmuiden

Wesco IJmuiden is lending a helping hand with Wind Farm Fryslân

The Amsterdam/IJmuiden region and Port of Amsterdam are pulling out all the stops for offshore wind power. To facilitate the construction of wind farms, we’re manufacturing and shipping various parts via the North Sea Canal Area.

In a series of four interviews, we tell you about are stance on building offshore wind farms. Speaking this time: Bert Korbeeck, CEO of Wesco IJmuiden and one of the project's suppliers.

With no fewer than 89 platforms, Wind Farm Fryslân will be supplying hundreds of thousands of households with green energy. Construction is in full swing. Today's challenge: hoisting parts onto the platforms of the wind turbines. This is where Wesco IJmuiden comes in, using no fewer than 89 Davit cranes.

89 custom built cranes

‘Equipment construction and structures, from design and manufacturing to installation, and assembly, maintenance and ship mobilisations.’ This is how CEO Bert Korbeeck describes Wesco IJmuiden's activities in a single sentence.

The company was commissioned by the Zuiderzeewind and Van Oord Offshore Wind consortium to supply 89 cranes. They will be used to help Wind Park Fryslân in the construction and the maintenance of the wind turbines by getting parts from ships onto the wind turbine platforms.

Wesco was the obvious choice for the job. ‘We're conveniently located in the port area in relation to IJsselmeer, and we often supply large numbers of cranes,’ says Bert. ‘That said, this is our biggest serial production so far.’

Inventive work

Wesco IJmuiden designs, manufactures, assembles and delivers the cranes. Eighty of them are now ready, and the last nine are just being completed. They are what are known as davit cranes: small cranes that can handle a load of 1,000 kilos.

Bert: ‘This job is special not only for the quantity and logistics, but also for its inventiveness. We supply relatively small, self-contained cranes, including a manually operated swivel mechanism and electric chain hoists. They are almost seven meters high and have a range of three meters. They are equipped with intuitive controls, smart lighting and electrics, and so on. Everything you need to get the turbine parts safely on the platforms.’

Together with other entrepreneurs

Wesco is building the 89 cranes on behalf of Van Oord Offshore Wind especially for the Wind Farm Fryslân. ‘That took a lot of advance planning,’ Bert says. 'If you make a design error in a project like this, you’ve automatically made 89 mistakes. Fortunately, it's all gone like clockwork so far.’

And – also important – everything’s on schedule. ‘In the maritime and offshore sector, everything has to be done quickly,’ he says, clearly the voice of experience. ‘A ship being alongside for a day for nothing is a costly business. Just like a wind farm that's not running. So we have to move forward. Fortunately, we work a lot together with other companies here in the Amsterdam port area. Entrepreneurs who are all in the same market and take the same approach. That means we can always count on prompt support when it comes to things like special elements we don't produce ourselves, such as electricity, hydraulics or coatings.’

A great project

As well efficiently doing business, Bert believes that cooperation is vital for the future of offshore wind farms. ‘These are such big projects that you really you need each other. I’m very proud that we as Wesco IJmuiden were awarded this contract. But at least as proud of the cooperation with all the other parties. By pooling our knowledge, we’re contributing to supply 500,000 households with green energy. A great project to be a part of.'

Read more about the project on Wind Farm Fryslân’s website