Van Oords offshore installation vessel Aeolus has installed the first turbine foundation at the Norther offshore wind farm. The €1.2bn project is being constructed 23km from the Belgian port of Zeebruges and is expected to be operational in 2019. Prior to installation works, Aeolus underwent a major transformation at Damens Shipyard in the Netherlands. Upgrade works included boosting the vessel’s loading capacity, increasing the number of onboard accommodations to 99, widening the vessel, reinforcing the deck and adding a helicopter deck. The spud poles have also been enlarged and it has been fitted with a new crane with a lifting capacity of 1,600 tonnes. In addition to the Aeolus, Van Oord will also be deploying its cable-laying vessel Nexus on the project in the next few months. As main contractor of the project, Van Oord is responsible for the engineering, procurement, delivery and installation of the 44 foundations for the wind turbines, the offshore high-voltage station and the entire electrical infrastructure, as well as for installing the wind turbines themselves. Van Oord tasked Sif Group and Smulders for the fabrication of monoplies and transition pieces for the project in January 2017. Sif Group is responsible for the primary steel and Smulders is responsible for the outfitting of the transition pieces. Sif will manufacture all 44 monopiles for the project as well as the offshore high voltage substations foundation piles. All the monopiles are being coated and stored at Sifs facility on Maasvlakte 2 in the Port of Rotterdam. It has a 16.5m draught, a deep sea quay of 400m in length and a lift and transport capacity of up to 1600 tons. For more information follow the links provided. Alternatively, click here for our interactive map.