Old wind turbines become railway sleepers

Oude windmolens Eneco worden spoorliggers

The five Eneco wind turbines that were located along motorway A15 and the Hartelkanaal waterway in Rotterdam will be given a new life. The Nordex N80 turbines are being dismantled. Some components will be used as spare parts for existing wind turbines. The other parts will be recycled as much as possible to become raw materials for new products such as railway sleepers for new railway tracks. In this way, Eneco is taking the recycling of wind turbines a step further, together with Business in Wind and other suppliers.

Steps have been taken in the recycling of the wind turbines to process the materials in an even more sustainable manner. Via Business in Wind, some components will be used as spare parts for existing wind turbines all over the globe. Other parts will be disassembled and separated by Jansen Recycling Group. This residual flow will then be processed into raw materials by Circulair Reycling Company (CRC) for new products such as railway sleepers. Through a chemical process, the material left over from the blades is converted into pyro oil, which is used as a raw material for new plastics.

Dismantling wind turbines from the water
Because the wind farm is difficult to reach via land, Eneco commissioned Business in Wind to carry out the project. They arranged for the dismantling of the wind farm to take place entirely from the water; from lifting the blades with a crane to transporting the parts by ship. They were assisted by Koppejan Wind Service with the disassembly of the turbines and by HEBO Maritiemservice B.V. with placing the pontoon in the right position by means of a pusher, a tugboat and a HEBO-Lift. The crane was supplied by crane rental company BKV Kraanverhuur. This is the first time in the Netherlands that Eneco, together with Business in Wind, dismantles a wind farm entirely from the water at this scale.

Hartelkanaal wind farm
Hartelkanaal wind farm used to consist of nine wind turbines in 2003, four of which were already removed in 2016. The five remaining turbines have now also been taken down. At present, there are no plans to replace the wind farm.