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06.06.2019 Think Big!

Deutsche Windtechnik has won the EU tender to provide maintenance for 30 Siemens SWT-3.6-120  wind turbines at the Riffgat offshore wind farm. This is the first time an independent company has taken over the maintenance of a large Siemens offshore wind farm. The factors that made this possible include the cost-sensitive cluster management concept and as well as the long-term project planning. The step can serve as a reference for future offshore projects.

Every specialist discipline is called upon to continue to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy, including maintenance. The contract for the Riffgat offshore wind farm is a milestone for Deutsche Windtechnik, but it came as no surprise. The company was initially active in the onshore sector, but it has been expanding its offshore range of services step by step for more than a decade. It now offers full service offshore.

“EWE Offshore Service and Solutions GmbH (EWE OSS) has commissioned us to provide turbine maintenance, troubleshooting, remote fault elimination, spare parts management and much more. We are highly committed in all areas of expertise, from the controller to large component replacement,” said Jens Landwehr, Managing Director of Deutsche Windtechnik Offshore und Consulting. “The number of offshore wind farms in the European seas that we are active in is increasing, and this allows us to leverage synergies in logistics, infrastructure, planning and the handling of deployments. This clustering contributes significantly to reduced cost structures.”

Viewing individual disciplines as a whole

In this specific case, deployments that target the Borkum Cluster, which consists of several offshore wind farms in the North Sea, mainly start in Borkum/Emden. “By clustering the maintenance activities, technicians can carry out their work in a timely manner and focus their efforts on specific areas of expertise,” said Irina Lucke, Managing Director of EWE. OSS, describing the objectives of the service concept at the Borkum cluster. “The resulting combination of experience and expertise generates the greatest added value for customers because costs can be reduced.”

Optimising logistics and deployment planning

The benefits of clustering were demonstrated, for example, during the deployment of Crew Transfer Vessels and Service Operation Vessels. “But this approach is also beneficial when deploying technicians, because their work can be planned for the entire cluster and they do not have to travel to each wind farm individually. In addition, the weather at different offshore wind farms can be very different, even though they are in close proximity to each other, and clustering allows offshore work days to be optimised,” Irina Lucke explained.

All players benefit from more competition

EWE OSS and Deutsche Windtechnik have been working together for two years at the offshore wind farm alpha ventus, which also belongs to the Borkum cluster. Both companies are confi dent that the new contract for the Riffgat offshore wind farm will give the clustering concept further impetus: “Not only do we share a common vision for service and synergies in our competencies, but our friendly, professional way of working together is also a deciding factor,” said Irina Lucke. Jens Landwehr added, “The project shows clearly that the offshore industry is becoming more professional and developing a competition situation that has already existed in other industries for a long time. All market participants benefit from this development!”