Flemming Hansen and Arjan Keuzenkamp about collaboration

Construction of Wind Farm Fryslân

After the construction of the wind farm Westermeerwind in the Noordoostpolder, Siemens Gamesa and Van Oord Offshore Wind are again combining forces. This time in the construction of Wind Farm Fryslân. After working for many years together, the team know one another extremely well. Yet this time it is different. This is, amongst other things, thanks to the unique location of the wind farm in the IJsselmeer and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Flemming Hansen works as project director for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and due to Covid-19 is carrying out his duties completely from his own home in Denmark. Arjan Keuzenkamp is project manager at Van Oord Offshore Wind and works mainly from home and the office in Gorinchem. Together they form the consortium Zuiderzeewind and as such are building the Wind Farm Fryslân. Flemming and Arjan tell you more about the collaboration and the challenges of this unique project.

“Together we are making the best of the situation and doing what is necessary to ensure that people can carry out their work safely and healthy”

Flemming Hansen – Project Director Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

Two companies, one team

Although both parties form one team, they each have their own specialisation and therefore their own scope. Van Oord is responsible for designing and installing the foundation poles of the wind turbines as well as for the kilometres long export cable that was laid last year. The Dutch waterway construction company also takes care of the construction of the nature reserve at Kornwerderzand and – as soon as the foundation is installed in the IJsselmeer– the laying of the cables from the turbines to the substation.

In the meantime, the staff of Siemens Gamesa have not been idle. At Breezanddijk the contours of the new substation are already clearly visible. Visitors will soon be able to visit the substation and walk straight through it. Siemens Gamesa is manufacturing the components of the wind turbines in factories throughout the world. They are slowly being transported to the Netherlands, where they are stored in Oude Zeug and Amsterdam. Good collaboration is absolutely necessary, and Wind Farm Fryslân is producing quite a few extra challenges.


Both Flemming and Arjan are fully aware that they are involved in a unique project. The project directors have worked many times before on building wind farms, sometimes even much bigger than Wind Farm Fryslân. But Wind Farm Fryslân, which is being built in the shallow IJsselmeer and is surrounded by dikes, is producing completely other challenges.

Due to the shallow waters in the IJsselmeer, work cannot be carried out with standard ’offshore’ equipment. That is why Van Oord produced purpose-built equipment specifically for working on the Wind Farm Fryslân project. And so in Lelystad they built the Sarens Soccer Pitch pontoon, a work platform the size of half a football field.

In most offshore wind projects, all components will arrive in one ship and each windturbine will be built at once. Due to the width of the locks around the Ijsselmeer, this turned out not to be possible for Wind Farm Fryslân. The wind turbines will therefore be moved in different ships to the Ijsselmeer, and will be assembled there.

Working day and night

The team of Van Oord is now working daily on the working platform in the IJsselmeer. Work is carried out day and night on driving in 89 foundation poles at the site where the wind turbines are to be erected. Under ideal circumstances, one or two steel poles of 40 metres can be driven in every day. The collaboration with Siemens Gamesa is crucial. Next year, above the foundations laid by Van Oord, Siemens will be installing the tower components and the rotors. All components have to fit one another precisely. There is therefore still a great deal of custom work and consultation being carried out, whereby the Corona pandemic is providing an extra challenge that has to be overcome.

Corona bubble

Modern communication means such as Skype, Teams and the telephone were already frequently being used by the teams of Flemming and Arjan during the prior two years of preparations. So nothing has essentially changed in this regard. However, the parties involved cannot totally escape the disadvantages of working from home so much. Looking one another in the eye, sizing up the situation at the work site and that simple chat in the corridor are all things that everyone misses.

And the work on the water is also different now. For the coming time, 25 to 50 people will be working 24 hours per day in shifts. All these men and women eat, sleep and recreate for about two weeks on a ship, constantly in their own Corona bubble. After that time, another shift arrives, all the members of which are comprehensively tested for Corona. After approximately two weeks, another shift arrives, all the members of which are comprehensively tested for Corona. Flemming: ‘Together we are making the best of the situation and doing what is necessary to ensure that people can carry out their work safely and healthily’.