The ports in the German state of Lower Saxony and their range of logistics services are crucially important for the successful introduction of the change in energy policy in the country. Matthias Schrell, Managing Director of Rhenus Midgard in Wilhelmshaven, and Björn Wittek, who is responsible for wind energy business development at the logistics services provider, have given a presentation on current onshore and offshore projects involving the Rhenus Group at the international “HUSUM WindEnergy” trade fair on Tuesday.
“We’ve geared our capacity towards the needs of the wind turbine manufacturers, making supplies available for production with efficient processes and transhipping offshore components, both at Cuxhaven and also Wilhelmshaven and Nordenham. However, each port is not necessarily equally suitable for each task. But as a result of the excellent networking within the Rhenus Group, we are in a position to offer a suitable port and an individual solution to meet whatever the customer requires,” Matthias Schrell explained.
In order to support the production of foundation structures for offshore wind turbines it is for example planned to extend and adapt the quay by up to 150 metres of heavy-load pier for JADE Werke GmbH in Wilhelmshaven. The quay allows heavy-duty handling and shipments of modules with individual items weighing more than 1,000 tonnes.
During the last few months, the port at Nordenham has specialised in transhipping marine cables, which connect the wind turbines with each other at sea and with the mainland. Rhenus also handles the just-in-time deliveries of 100,000 tonnes of thick plate per annum at the mouth of the river Weser; this material is required by a local steel producer to manufacture monopoles.
In order to safeguard the space it requires near the Amrumbank offshore wind park located north of the island of Helgoland, the German energy supplier E.ON recently signed a reservation agreement with the port services provider Cuxport, in which Rhenus has a holding as part of a joint venture. “We‘re already storing the first offshore components for the customer. Our multi-purpose terminal serves as the base port for intermediate storage, assembly work and transporting the offshore components,” said Björn Wittek. As the water is 15.80 m deep, the port has access to the North Sea without the need for any locks. At the same time, Cuxport has specialised in providing logistics services and maintenance.
The Rhenus Group has also established a name for itself in the international project business. The logistics specialist with its subsidiary Rhenus Project Logistics is currently managing the shipment of a complete large onshore unit to New England in the USA on behalf of Kenersys, a manufacturer of wind turbines with global operations. “We’ve organised the shipment with our detailed knowledge and have not only loaded the turbine’s hub, towers, blades and the machine house on board a seagoing vessel, but also unloaded it at the site, and we’ve provided all the customs documents,” said Björn Wittek, summarising the variety of different services. Kenersys has already placed orders for other projects within Europe.
Rhenus Project Logistics has also made a name for itself by transporting wind turbines from repowering schemes during the past few months, and it is currently shipping five 1.5 MW class turbines from Germany to South-East Europe. An order has already been placed for a follow-up job, and negotiations on other projects are continuing.
The Rhenus Group provides logistics services around the globe and has annual turnover amounting to EUR 3.4 billion. Rhenus employs more than 19,000 people at more than 290 locations worldwide. The Rhenus business areas – Contract Logistics, Freight Logistics and Port Logistics – manage complex supply chains and provide a wealth of innovative value-added services.