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Bakker Sliedrecht to establish shore power system in Rotterdam for Heerema crane ships

Netherlands-based electrical engineering specialist Bakker Sliedrecht will electrify the crane vessels Thialf and Sleipnir belonging to Heerema Marine Contractors so that they can be powered with green shore power.

Wind turbines at the quay of the Calandkanaal in Rotterdam will generate this sustainable energy. The shore power connection allows the vessels to turn off their diesel generators, which significantly reduces noise and CO2, nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter emissions when moored in the port. The electrification of the vessels is part of a shore power project, in which, in addition to Heerema, power company Eneco, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the City of Rotterdam are also participating.

As part of the project, nine modern wind turbines with a total capacity of 27MW will replace ten existing wind turbines on the headland at Rozenburg. Since August, the project consortium has been building a so-called e-house on the quay near the canal. This is a gigantic socket that can supply 20 megawatts (2 x 10 MW) of green wind energy.

Heerema is their first client. The company’s Thialf and Sleipnir are the largest crane vessels in the world with around 400 people living and working on board. During the winter period, the crane vessels are regularly moored in the Calandkanaal in Rotterdam, for maintenance or in preparation of projects at sea. Usually all onboard facilities are powered by diesel generators. By connecting the ships to sustainable shore power from the new e-house, the generators can be turned off reducing CO2-emissions by some 15,000 tonnes and simultaneously reducing engine noise. Heerema will reduce its CO2-footprint with the project.

In order to use this sustainable shore power, Bakker Sliedrecht is carrying out various adjustments on board the ships including supplying the required transformers, shore connection switchboards and interface to the existing power distribution system. Bakker Sliedrecht will also expand the existing installations and switchboards and install low and high voltage cables. The voltage must be converted from 11 kV to 4.16 kV. All new equipment will be installed on board the Thialf early next year after which work at the Sleipnir will start. That crane vessel is brand-new, which is why fewer electrical adjustments are required there and the work package is less extensive.

Heerema consciously opted for Bakker Sliedrecht. “We have a long-term relationship together. We are Heerema’s preferred supplier and have supplied significant parts and equipment for the crane vessels, varying from switchboards to generators and also propulsion systems,” said Project Manager Andy Waterstreet and Account Manager John Hollemans of Bakker Sliedrecht. “Now we are delivering the shore supply switchboards on board so that the crane vessels can actually use the sustainable electricity from shore.”