Port Esbjerg Calls for Collaboration Between Ports to Meet Offshore Wind Targets – Heavy Lift News
9 Feb 2023

Port Esbjerg Calls for Collaboration Between Ports to Meet Offshore Wind Targets

European decisions call for a sharp increase in the pace of offshore wind installations. This puts a lot of pressure on ports. That is why Port Esbjerg has taken  the initiative to collaborate with the other five leading wind installation ports in northern Europe.

The ports are normally competitors but they have already started working closely together to optimise capacity. What is more, Port Esbjerg is encouraging others in the maritime sector to do the same to meet the ambitious offshore wind targets.

The ports are

  • Port Esbjerg in Denmark,
  • Port Oostende in Belgium,
  • Groningen Seaports/Eemshaven in the Netherlands,
  • Niedersachsen Port/Cuxhaven in Germany,
  • Port Nantes-Saint Nazaire in France
  • Humber Ports in the UK.

There were smiles all around, thumbs up and high spirits, as a tour of the harbour at Esbjerg ended with a photo session. The date was 18 January and the smiles belonged to the representatives of the six ports involved in a ground-breaking new collaboration between Europe’s largest offshore wind installation ports.

The agreement was signed on the day and the first discussions on the collaboration were held. In addition to the initial discussions, the agenda also included a talk by Harvard professor Willy Shih who spoke on logistical challenges.

The current EU target is to install at least 65 GW of offshore wind by 2030. This is high target, not least considering that there is currently just over 13 GW in the seas around Europe. In other words, the EU aims to install well over five times as much offshore wind in the next eight years as we have built during the previous twenty.

An even higher target is set for 2050, by when the plan is to have installed 340 GW.

‘Fit for 55’ is the EU’s climate package which makes the commitment to reach the climate target of reducing the EU’s emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030. To achieve that goal, offshore wind is crucial.

With the Esbjerg Declaration of May 2022, the target for offshore wind in Europe was increased dramatically. Since then, ambitions have grown even further. This is the equivalent of installing 24,000 of the currently largest turbines.

“These are obviously ambitions that we appreciate and support at Port Esbjerg,” says Dennis Jul Pedersen, CEO of Port Esbjerg.

Consequently the parties met at Esbjerg on 18 January to sign a declaration of collaboration and get to work straight away.

The six ports want to lead by example. If the ports are to succeed in their ambitious offshore wind targets, the collaboration of six installation ports is simply not enough. Other players in the maritime sector need to create similar forums, where coordination across both industry and geography can help push the boundaries of what is possible.

“The maritime sector needs to be more transparent, improve its communication and coordinate better in order to enable ports, vessels and manufacturers to optimise processes to accelerate the green transition. Only then will it be possible to meet the targets of the new European offshore wind strategy. We therefore hope that our collaboration will be the starting shot for more of the same,” concludes Jul Pedersen.

The plan is for the installation ports to meet twice a year and hold planning meetings in between.

Source Port of Esbjerg

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