AYOP stands for Amsterdam IJmuiden Offshore Ports, is a public-private network organisation with over 75 members from government and industry. “Offshore wind is obviously booming,” says chairman Ron Davio. “In the niches around offshore oil and gas, however, we see changing but equally strong dynamics. Our region is keeping a close eye on developments.”
The primary task of AYOP is twofold. Firstly, it aims to establish the Amsterdam IJmuiden region as the offshore wind region. Secondly, AYOP is looking for niches in offshore oil & gas such as drilling support, platform modifications & maintenance and – especially currently – the decommissioning and disassembly of redundant platforms. “One of our strong points is that we have space, both on the quays and on land, in front of and behind the locks,” says AYOP chairman Ron Davio. “This will become even more apparent once we start developing the Averijhaven port area.”
The Averijhaven is currently a closed sludge depot situated adjacent to the premises of Tata Steel before the locks. A location in front of the Averijhaven offers vessels that are too deep for the North Sea Canal a place to be partially unloaded. However, this spot is on the arrival route to the new sea locks, due to be delivered in 2019. The Dutch Department of Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) is investing 68 million euros in a plan to dredge the Averijhaven and use it as a new light vessel location.
“There is a lot we can do with the Averijhaven,” says Davio. “Port of Amsterdam, Port of IJmuiden, Tata Steel and AYOP have joined forces to commission a plan by Buck Consultancy which may offer space for two light vessel locations. It could also include a site for the demolition of redundant platforms, in which the metal remains can – in a manner of speaking – be fed directly into Tata’s ovens. Moreover, the Averijhaven offers space for a harbour basin for offshore wind material. And, in our opinion, the central location and facilities are extremely well-suited as a home base for Tennet, which will be installing and managing the cable network for Dutch wind turbine parks.”
"Offshore wind has such potential that we established the dedicated Wind@work2.0 programme, aimed at attracting cargo, employment and businesses to our region,” Davio continues. “All the challenges we are facing demand a regional approach. This is why we appointed Dorothy Winters as programme manager to represent the interests of the region.”
According to Davio it is not only the space IJmond already has before the locks that could be considerably expanded with the Averijhaven. “Behind the locks, on the North Sea Canal, we also have the TMA and USA terminals, tide-free and well-equipped paved quays and areas for just-in-time delivery of specific amounts of material via our previously developed ‘tray concept’.”
In addition, the chairman points out the comprehensive facilities such as the infrastructure, ambitions and expertise found among AYOP members. “Examples include Eneco, Vestas, Windcat, C-ventus and Breman Offshore to name just a few. And we’re not just talking expertise in the field of offshore wind. IJmond is specifically well-equipped for decommissioning and we recently initiated an AYOP working group to see how our region can achieve a stronger position in this specialised area.”
Koen Overtoom, CEO Port of Amsterdam
“The Port of Amsterdam aims to be cleaner, faster and smarter; the benchmark against which we compare all our activities. We strongly advocate wind turbines in line with our goal to be more sustainable. Moreover, we have the required space and facilities in our ports. Wind energy has two major benefits: it is clean, local energy that can also be used locally, and the construction and maintenance can be sourced from this region too. Wind energy development in the province of North Holland has become unnecessarily complex due to the many provincial regulations which projects must meet. It is entirely possible that good and socially acceptable locations in the Amsterdam port remain unused. We intend to prevent this happening and are doing everything possible to facilitate more wind turbines.”
Peter van de Meerakker, managing director Port of IJmuiden
"The Port of IJmuiden focuses on food (fishery), energy (oil & gas and offshore wind) and leisure (ferries and cruises). The assembly, construction and maintenance of the three wind turbine parks off the coast of Egmond, the Prinses Amaliapark and, most recently, Luchterduinen, has been a very positive experience. At the request of the companies involved in maintenance, we made major investments in state-of-the-art-quays and boat landings. We are confident about our future in offshore wind and there are major opportunities and perspectives, partly due to AYOP’s initiatives in the Wind@work2.0 programme.
“At the same time there are still improvements to be made, especially with regard to spreading the word about the North Sea Canal region and IJmuiden as an area with lots of support companies and facilities for installation companies. Because unknown means unloved, we are working together with all AYOP members to improve the brand recognition of the region and IJmuiden among maintenance and installation companies in offshore wind. It is a sector that matches the vision of the port authorities in Amsterdam and IJmuiden, and we are doing everything in our power to attract work related to the planned future capacity of 2100 MW off the coast of South and North Holland.”