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Shipowners: Huge potential in artificial North Sea island

Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark plan to construct a huge artificial island in the North Sea. The project, which will cost billions of euros to complete, will serve as a hub for upwards of 7,000 offshore wind turbines. Shipowners eye significant potential. Find a video of the project here.

Photo: PR - TenneT

The land and nautical maps will perhaps soon need to be updated, as a major joint project from Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark is looking to construct an artificial island in the middle of the North Sea which will be able to hold 7,000 offshore wind turbines.

Specifically, the project concerns a 6 square kilometer artificial island with a landing strip and port, located on Dogger Banke in the middle of the North Sea. The island will serve as a hub for wind energy placed between England, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway, as thousands of wind turbines can be installed around the island, and thus power from several countries' wind farms can be gathered and distributed to consumers on the North Sea countries.

Find a video of the project here.

The island could become home to upwards of 30 GW wind power, writes Denmark's Energinet.dk in a press release. In comparison, the max Danish electricity consumption today is 6.1 GW – but the vision is in fact much greater and encompasses a total of 70-100 GW wind turbines, and perhaps even additional artificial islands on Dogger Banke. 70 GW could supply power to 80 million Europeans, according to Energinet.

Energinet will sign an agreement with the electricity utilities in the Netherlands and Germany, TenneT, on March 23, to explore the possibilities of constructing the island, which will be named Power Link Island.

According to a statement from the Danish Shipowners' Association, the project holds significant potential.

Very exciting project

"In offshore wind alone, 18 different types of vessels are used, working with everything from geological surveys to cargo transport and from wind turbine installation to repairs and transport, catering, and accommodation for the many associated employees. The project is therefore very exciting for a long list of our members," says Jacob K. Clasen, Deputy Director at the Danish Shipowners' Association.

"Danish carriers are among the most experienced in the fields of installation and servicing of offshore wind turbines, and many them are already working out of the Port of Esbjerg. So I'm sure that Danish carriers will win many of the orders," he adds.

Danish media JydskeVestkysten reports that the calculations so far indicate that the construction of the island, in sand and stone alone, will cost more than DKK 10 billion, or USD 1.4 billion.

According to the statement from the Danish Shipowners' Association, the project will there also be interesting to, for instance, a specialized entrepreneur carrier such as Peter Madsen.

"The construction of an island of this size requires participation of many ships and carriers with experience in entrepreneur projects. Of course we look forward to contributing with these skills when the plans, hopefully, soon reach a concrete project phase," says the carrier's CEO Vibeke Madsen.

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