Bakker Sliedrecht electrifies crane vessels Heerema for the use of sustainable wind energy

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10 December 2020

Bakker Sliedrecht will electrify the crane vessels Thialf and Sleipnir of Heerema Marine Contractors so that they can be powered with green shore power. Wind turbines at the quay of the Calandkanaal in Rotterdam generate this sustainable energy. The shore power connection allows the vessels to turn off their diesel generators, which significantly reduces noise and CO2, nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter emissions.

The electrification of the vessels is part of a shore power project, in which, in addition to Heerema, power company Eneco, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the City of Rotterdam are also participating.

Sustainability of the largest crane vessels in the world

As part of the project, nine modern wind turbines with a total capacity of 27 megawatts will replace ten existing wind turbines on the headland at Rozenburg. Since August, the project consortium has been building a so-called e-house on the quay near the canal. This is a gigantic socket that can supply 20 megawatts (2 x 10 MW) of green wind energy.

Heerema is their first client. The offshore company’s Thialf and Sleipnir are the largest crane vessels in the world. About 400 people can live and work on board. During the winter period, the crane vessels are regularly moored in the Calandkanaal in Rotterdam, for maintenance or in preparation of projects at sea. Then all on board facilities are powered by diesel generators. By connecting the ships to sustainable shore power from the new e-house, they can be turned off. That saves the amount of emissions as from 5000 diesel cars. CO2-emissions into the air are reduced with 15,000 tons and the vessels produce hardly any noise. Heerema will reduce its CO2-footprint with the project.

On-board modifications to use sustainable shore power

In order to use this sustainable shore power, Bakker Sliedrecht is carrying out various adjustments on board. Bakker Sliedrecht will, among other things, supply the required transformers, shore connection switchboards and interface to the existing power distribution system. Bakker Sliedrecht will also expand the existing installations and switchboards and install the low and high voltage cables. The voltage must be converted from 11 kV to 4.16 kV. All new equipment will be installed on board the Thialf early next year. After that the work at the Sleipnir will start. That crane vessel is brand-new, which is why fewer electrical adjustments are required there and the work package is less extensive.

Long-term relationship with Heerema

Heerema consciously opted for Bakker Sliedrecht. “We have a long-term relationship together. We are Heerema’s preferred supplier and have supplied significant parts and equipment for the crane vessels, varying from switchboards to generators and also propulsion systems,” say Project Manager Andy Waterstreet and Account Manager John Hollemans of Bakker Sliedrecht. “Now we are delivering the shore supply switchboards on board so that the crane vessels can actually use the sustainable electricity from shore.”


The construction of electrical infrastructure on vessels and land installations is a specialty of Bakker Sliedrecht, whether it concerns high, medium or low voltage. In addition to Heerema’s crane vessels, more ships and companies in the port of Rotterdam will be able to use the sustainable shore power in the future. In these projects Bakker Sliedrecht can also play a part.

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