More offshore wind power for Niedersachsen
In conversation with Bjarne Christensen of Semco Maritime
The North Sea and offshore wind power: an ideal combination for international investment
Danish company Semco Maritime is one of the leading offshore wind power providers – along with branches in Denmark, England, Norway, Dubai, Singapore, Central America and the USA they've had a German location since September 2016 at Norddeich in Niedersachsen.
What is Semco Maritime providing here, to which customers? What kind of projects do you want to start here in Norddeich?
Our clients are offshore wind farm operators – right from the earliest days of the offshore wind power industry Semco Maritime has been building offshore transformer stations. Wind farms built today will have a service life of over 25 years, so this is where we need high quality servicing and maintenance – both for our own and other manufacturers’ transformer stations. We’ve already signed a 5-year contract with the ‘Nordsee One’ wind farm operator, and we’re working on more service projects …
Mr Christensen, what were the decisive reasons for choosing Norddeich as your base?
The convenient location for many German offshore wind farms, and the equally well-functioning infrastrastructure, made the choice very easy for us. And several of our existing offshore clients have already settled here.
How did the State of Niedersachsen advise and support you?
It wasn’t only the State – the town of Norden also welcomed us very warmly. Even the Minister, Olaf Lies, met our top management. We were invited to join the local offshore networks – where we also want to play an active role. Like I said, we feel honoured by our very position reception here in Niedersachsen.
What, in your opinion, are the biggest technical challenges in this sector?
One big challenge is the high cost of running and maintaining an offshore wind farm, and at Semco Maritime we’re taking up this challenge together with customers. We’re working on maximising the accessibility of the wind farms, while also minimising maintenance costs.
The crucial factor is standardising the service programme. Like the automobile industry – where your car’s servicing schedule is exactly defined – the service documentation makes it absolutely clear which servicing tasks have to be completed at what intervals, for instance, after how many kilometres – and which can be carried when and by whom.
Another challenge for the relatively young offshore wind power industry is finding qualified and specially trained technicians – particularly here in rather thinly populated East Frisia.
Mr Christensen, what do you think – Which services are going to be increasingly important to this sector in future?
High quality servicing is very important! Flexible and versatile well-trained service technicians are in demand. Many of the technical systems in a wind farm have to be looked after and maintained by just a few technicians. At Semco Maritime we address this need with our ‘SemCertified’ qualification – so our clients can be sure the service technicians have excellent technical expertise.
Mr Christensen, Semco Maritime – a Danish offshore service company – opened a new branch in Niedersachsen, at Norddeich, in 2016. How did that come about?
As an offshore company with over 30 years’ experience at sea and references from a good third of all the world’s offshore wind farms, for us it was inevitable that we’d also settle at one of the prime German locations for the offshore wind industry.
Mr Christensen, what fascinates you, personally, about the offshore sector?
This is a very young industry – it’s only in the last roundabout 15 years that we’ve had wind power on the water. At the same time the industry is growing very rapidly, driven by enormous forces. What fascinates me personally is being part of all this – and sensing the tremendous commitment of all involved, both among our clients and at Semco Maritime.
Semco Maritime is an international energy company with over 30 years' experience. It can count a third of all the world's offshore transformer stations as references.
- Founded 2016
- Employees at the location: 8
- Headquarters: Esbjerg, Denmark