Page 48 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
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48  Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation


The port of Oostende

Home for the Blue Growth cluster in the Southern North Sea

The port of Oostende is one of the 4 Flemish Sea ports in the                         the enterprises related to the offshore
Southern North Sea. It is a traditional city port, where the inner                    industry and to cluster the knowledge,
port stretches for 7 km alongside the canal, linking Oostende                         technology and industry in this sector.
to the European inland waterway network. It is well connected                         To achieve this the port makes the
by motorway and rail. Considering the pressure of real estate                         necessary investments to facilitate the
developers and “visionary” urbanists, it is not longer possible to                    installation, the management and the
expand the outer port. The nautical access allows vessels with a                      maintenance of the offshore
maximum length of 200 meters and the depth is situated at 8 LAT.                      wind parks.

In traditional economic and logistic       service port for the Blue Growth           As to the installation, one has learnt
      thinking, where the importance of    economy”.                                  that every project is different, and has
      ports is calculated on the basis of                                             its own challenges. The evolution of
      number of crates handled in and      This has resulted in the set-up of a       the quality and design of offshore
 out of ports with ever bigger vessels,    Public-Private partnership, involving      components is enormous, and
 it is clear that one can ask questions    ARTES constructions, Deme Blue             experience has shown that every
 about the future and viability of small   Energy, Offshore & Wind assistance,        sea has its own characteristics: what
 and medium-sized ports in the             Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen        counts for Belgian waters, does not
 North Sea.                                and the port of Oostende, called
                                           NV REBO (Renewable Energy Base
 But there is more than cargo traffic in   Oostende). The goal of NV REBO is to
 the North Sea. A strategy paper of the    become an efficient and cost effective
 European Commission to the European       offshore terminal for handling, lifting ,
 Parliament in 2012 outlines this very     storing, assembling and transporting
 clearly: “Blue Growth, opportunities      all kind of offshore components. In
 for marine and maritime sustainable       2011, the port of Oostende and NV
 growth”. In other words, the potential    REBO invested more than 5 000 000
 for maritime economic growth is           euro in the building of the heavy load
 situated at sea.                          quay, and developed office and storage
                                           space for the different service providers
 THE EARLY DAYS OF BLUE ENERGY             in the offshore industry.
 OF OOSTENDE                               THE POLICY FRAMEWORK.
 The port of Oostende started in the       The wind farms in the Belgian North
 blue growth in the sector in 2007-2008    Sea make an important contribution
 with the construction of the first phase  to achieve the Belgian renewable
 of the C-Power offshore wind park.        energy targets. Today, 182 wind mills
 This new economic activity needed a       have been installed, producing energy
 specially dedicated infrastructure and    for approx. 600 000 households. The
 space within the outer port, in order to  aim is to install 450 wind mills with an
 be able to realize construction at sea.   overall capacity of 2 245 MW and an
 Considering the licenses were given       annual electricity output of 7 700 000
 for the construction of 8 offshore wind   MWH. This is equivalent to 9 % of the
 parks by the Belgian government, it       total electricity consumption in Belgium
 was clear that the port of Oostende had   (8085 TWh).
 to rethink its elementary infrastructure
 in order to be able to handle the         BLUE ENERGY AND OFFSHORE
 installation and maintenance of the       WIND TODAY AT THE PORT OF
 offshore wind parks. In 2009, the port    OOSTENDE
 revised its core strategy and embarked    The operational mission of the port of
 on its ambition to become “The Flemish    Oostende is to become a home for all

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