Offshore high-voltage station for Eneco Luchterduinen wind farm under construction in Antwerp

Innovative construction method


At a large facility owned by Cofely Fabricom (GDF SUEZ Group) in Hoboken (Antwerp) a four-storey transformer station is currently under construction which will eventually be central to the new offshore Eneco Luchterduinen wind farm. This transformer station will collect the electricity generated by 43 windmills, transform this from 33kV to 150KV and will also be the point of departure for the over 25 kilometre long electricity cable that transports the electricity to the mainland.

What makes this Offshore High Voltage Station (OHVS) so exceptional is the manner in which it has been assembled: for the first time the construction process at the site was made much easier by assembling pre-fabricated components which were made elsewhereAnother exceptional aspect is the fact that the whole installation is equipped with a grid of flexible connection points, meaning that every small part does not have to be engineered in detail as part of the initial design phase. This results in a substantial advantage when it comes to managing the coordination between the various suppliers of equipment and components for the platform.

Transformer station
The OHVS weighs as much as four Boeing 747s (almost 900 tons) and has four floors. It is approximately 24 meters long, 23 meters wide and 16 meters high and is full of transformers and switchgear. It is also equipped with computers for security and control as well as an emergency electricity supply facility and an air-conditioning system. In the event of an emergency, there are sleeping quarters and emergency rations for maintenance personnel.

Van Oord
Van Oord is the main contractor for the Eneco Luchterduinen wind farm. Van Oord contracted the FICG consortium for the design, construction and installation of the platform. FICG consists of a collaboration between Cofely Fabricom, Iemants and CG, with Cofely Fabricom taking the lead. The overall design and assembly is being carried out by Cofely Fabricom. Iemants, located in Arendonk in Belgium, is responsible for the design of the steel structure and the manufacture of the steel components for the platform. CG is responsible for the design, the delivery and the installation of the high-voltage components.

All of the construction work on the OHVS has now been completed. It was transported from the assembly hall to the yard last week and will be further completed and tested on the wharf. The OHVS will be installed at sea in February, after which the 43 Vestas windmills will be installed by Van Oord. The Eneco Luchterduinen wind farm will be operational by the end of 2015 and will produce green electricity for approximately 150,000 households. The wind farm is a joint project between Japanese company Mitsubishi Corporation and Eneco Group.