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    Construction calls for $500 million investment in ports for floating wind power development

    January 25, 2023 - CE Noticias Financieras


      The considerable depth of much of the coastline requires an extra effort for the implementation of offshore wind farms in Spain, through the assembly of floating concrete structures, and infrastructure companies see an opportunity in this. They need ports as operational bases and are calling for public investment, for some 500 million, for the adaptation of docks.

      The sector is handling plans, with Puertos del Estado as the recipient, in which interconnection and remodeling works are required in at least half a dozen ports for the execution of floating concrete caissons. The investment effort in each of the sites would exceed 80 million, explain sources familiar with these initiatives. The Government has even been asked to involve European funds focused on the Perte Naval. Andalusia, Galicia, the Canary Islands, the Basque Country and Catalonia are the areas under analysis.

      References such as Ferrovial, ACS, Acciona, OHLA, Sacyr, FCC and Rover, with experience in port works, are competing for positions in an activity in which Spain could become a supplier of platforms for depths greater than 50 meters. "France is strengthening its ports for the industrial work required for offshore wind power, and Portugal is going to do the same," says a source close to these projects.

      ACS, Ferrovial, FCC, Acciona, Sacyr and Rover are looking for positions as contractors.

      Treated concrete for salt water has a life expectancy of close to 100 years, compared to less than 50 years for steel platforms, as well as requiring lower volumes of raw materials and considerably reducing the weight of the blocks, says Rover Maritime, referring to its Triwind Float project.

      The stability to support wind turbines of more than 10 MW and a cost reduction of more than 20% are other advantages highlighted by those who defend concrete.

      Among the construction companies with the potential to join this trend, ACS is the great promoter and developer since the early stages of offshore wind power. Scotland, Ireland and Taiwan have parks signed by ACS.

      Ferrovial has gained experience in a pilot project for the construction of platforms in the Basque Country, led by Saitec and RWE, and executed in Punta Sollana (Port of Bilbao). It has conditioned the dock, experimented with concrete dosing or with caisson fabrication models.

      Rover and OHLA have long experience in port works and have specialized divisions. Sacyr has remodeled docks such as Punta Sollana, in Bilbao, or the one in Valencia. Acciona sells floating platforms that can be mass produced, and is a shareholder (24%) of the French company Eolink, with floating structures that are oriented according to the wind direction. And FCC has to its credit the remodeling of ports such as Callao (Peru) or built the largest floating dock in the world in Monaco.

      The contacts of some of them with port authorities are intense in search of sites for an activity that is already crystallizing in contracts.

      Boost from the European Union

      One of the cornerstones of the strategic framework of Puertos del Estado is support for the development of offshore wind energy. This is the response to EU policies that seek to ensure that a quarter of the electrical power generated by 2050 comes from the sea. The EU has also proposed to multiply by five the installed power in marine renewable capacity in 2030, and by 30 in 2050, placing the ports as energy points.

      Puertos del Estado has reached out to the settlement of shipyards for the production of wind turbines; the development of port infrastructures for the management of components, and authorizations to undertake prototypes and installation of wind power generation in port waters.


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