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At the northern tip of the Dutch mainland, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is working hard on pre-assembling 69 wind turbines. Boels Rental has been the rental partner for the project since the very start. Last November, we visited the project for the first time. Now six months later, we are revisiting this impressive site.
Six months after our last visit to the Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy site, you could barely recognise the place. Back in November, they were still hard at work preparing the site. Now the 22-hectare site is packed with components for the 69 wind turbines. The 42-tonne blades are all lined up nice and tidy, four 100-metre-high towers are ready for the next lift onto the ship.
We enter the temporary office units of Siemens Gamesa, where Senior Site Manager Steve Linsley’s team has just finished their daily safety briefing. What a change from November. All the workstations have been filled and there is a prevailing mixture of Dutch, English and Danish.
On behalf of Boels, Area Manager Menne de Vries is also present. “Oh yes – it’s a whole new ballgame from last year! The sheer scale of the cranes and components is enormous. We have close to 80 mobile housing units in place but they are barely noticeable because of the massive size of everything here at the site.”
”The turbines will provide up to 759 megawatts of green energy for the dutch market.”
Initially, 44 cabin units were delivered. There are now 80 cabin units at the site. Subcontractor Muehlhan, which is sub-contracted by SGRE for assembling the wind turbines, also needed 36 cabin units. These are being used as offices, canteens and changing rooms that include showers. These units are located directly on the quay close to the large cranes that are responsible for loading the 1,200-tonne turbines onto the ships. “One special challenge about this location was being able to supply enough water for the showers. There was no fixed water connection at the quay. So we worked with Tankgigant to supply clean water and collect wastewater for the toilets and showers. And with volumes of around 30,000 litres of clean and 30,000 litres of wastewater, we’re dealing with some serious numbers here,” says Menne.
A wide range of machines and equipment has been delivered to this site over the past several months. For a job like this, where delays are simply not an option, you expect to have a collaborative and proactive rental partner. “Yes, that’s true. We do everything we can to stay on schedule and we will only succeed in that if all our partners adopt the same approach. If you can’t manage that, then you won’t be around very long,” says Steve Linsley.
Safety as the top priority
Apart from a timely delivery, safety has always top priority at the site. “We consider it extremely important. Just have a look around. We’re working here with the kind of machinery and on the kind of scale where any small mistake or oversight can immediately have colossal consequences for you and all your fellow colleagues around you. So we also expect all our partners to abide by the same rules as those in place at the site. That applies both to personnel as well as to deploying appropriate and approved machinery.”
The power of teamwork
Linsley is very pleased with the collaboration with Boels. Here, he mentions the open dialogue with Menne and his colleagues in particular, as well as Boels’ ability to respond flexibly to the dynamic requirements at the site. “We even have a separate Boels app group now. The lines of communication between us and Boels just can’t get any shorter. Sometimes we ask for an adjustment here or there for requirements or delivery times, and they always come up with solutions and actively contribute ideas. This involves considering all the opportunities and I like that, because I only have one task and that’s getting this job done on schedule!”
Single point of contact
Boels also uses a single point of contact for its work with Siemens Gamesa. Menne is the contact person that represents the entire Boels organisation. “I strive for quality, and together with Martijn and our team at the depot in Delfzijl, I make sure that Steve’s team at the site has everything they need. We go to great lengths to achieve that, but it’s our Boels DNA. We want to take the pressure off and help where we can so that this project stays on schedule! That way, on the last day of the project, I can look Steve straight in the eyes, shake his hand and say that we all managed this together and it was a job well done. That’s what it’s all about in the end.”