One of the oldest and largest logistics companies in the Netherlands, Royal Wagenborg has always been a pioneer. Over a century has passed since it was founded, and it remains at the forefront of the industry. Offshore wind business developer Max Tack hosts a guided tour of the visionary organisation and its notable vessels.

Royal Wagenborg was established in 1898, employs 3,500 people and manages about 230 craft, including multipurpose vessels, ferries, icebreaking supply ships, tugs, a fast crew transfer boat and various offshore support vehicles. In addition, Wagenborg provides heavy lifting and transport, 1,800m of quay and 390,000m2 of storage space. It also has a proven track record of offering a complete range of logistic services for the offshore windpower industry.

"The diversity of our equipment becomes really valuable when it is used smartly and efficiently," explains Max Tack, the company’s offshore wind business developer. "Our fleet varies in size and tonnage, and offers just-in-time shipments for almost any type of project cargo. Heavy transports – vertically by any of our mobile or crawler cranes, or horizontally by our self-propelled or conventional trailers – often require millimetre work; even when this involves wind-turbine components that weigh many tons. Our attitude enables us to take care of any transport challenge in accordance with the GL Noble Denton guidelines when required.

Quay to success
"Our logistics hub in Eemshaven, located near many offshore wind-farm development areas, offers many opportunities for the wind power industry. Our quay, with large storage areas, is perfectly suited to loading, discharging and transhipment of wind turbine components. Our facilities are fully equipped for the pre-assembly of the components. In addition, we provide services and yard facilities for repair and maintenance of wind turbine components – always safe, efficient and reliable."

Over time, the experience and expertise available within Royal Wagenborg has grown rapidly when it comes to supplying logistics for the windpower industry.
As a result, it was awarded several contracts to supply a variety of services to offshore farms such as Borkum West II, Alpha Ventus, Amrumbank, Global Tech I and Borkum Riffgat, as well as to the offshore converter stations Dolwin Alpha and Borwin Alpha. These ranged from transporting single substations topside, to satisfying farms’ complete logistical requirements.

A passion for new solutions
Wagenborg thinks in terms of solutions and will provide safe and reliable transport for any customer, anywhere in the world. By listening carefully to clients’ needs and following developments in the offshore wind industry, the firm has again taken a new step in its existence by building the innovative Walk to Work boat.

This is a new type of offshore maintenance support craft designed to provide multifunctional support to the industry. This unique vessel combines a workspace, a floating hotel, storage and the means of getting to and from offshore locations in one design. It will deliver substantial savings to offshore activities.

The dynamically positioned DP2 vessel will be 79m long with a breadth of 16m, draught of 5.4m and a service speed of 12.5kt from 10,000hp. The first of its type was launched in October 2014 and will be delivered early the following year. Wagenborg is confident that more will follow, bringing significant costs savings to the offshore wind industry.