From February 2024 the Danish Port of Hanstholm will have a role as a base port for six ships that will service offshore wind farms. The ships are owned by the Norwegian-Danish group Integrated Wind Solutions (IWS), which offers integrated service solutions for offshore wind farms.

The agreement with IWS is of great importance for the port of Hanstholm which sees great potential in projects for green transition and therefore it is believed that the agreement can be a starting point for several exciting tasks in relation to, among other things, offshore wind in the North Sea.

IWS is listed on the stock exchange in Norway and has a total of six custom-built vessels in the order book of which the first just arrived at the port of Hanstholm on Friday morning. The CSOV which bears the name ‘IWS Skywalker’, will in the coming time be prepared and christened in the port of Hanstholm, after which it is ready to set course for service tasks at Europe’s largest offshore wind farm on Dogger Bank.

‘IWS Skywalker’ departed at the end of December from the Chinese shipyard CMHI Haimen Shipyard, where it has just been completed. The other five IWS ships are scheduled to be ready to sail from the shipyard in China within a few years – and will be delivered continuously.

According to the plan, all six IWS vessels are to be chartered out for service and maintenance tasks at offshore wind farms around Europe. They are all hybrid ‘Walk-to-Work’ type ships, specially built for efficient offshore operations. On board, each ship has a built-in gangway that can act as a service platform at sea by creating a connection between the ship and the turbine so that service technicians can move safely between the ship and the turbine.

The role of Port of Hanstholm is to stand ready as a permanent port of connection when the six IWS ships have to carry out service tasks on board or are mobilized for new tasks at offshore wind farms in the European market. Here, IWS is particularly looking towards the UK, Germany, France, Poland and Denmark, where the group finds Hanstholm interesting due to its strategic location and immediate proximity.

The fact that Hanstholm is interesting for the IWS group also explains the director of IWS Services A/S, Jesper Uhre Larsen, with the port’s flexibility, access to green electricity and the area’s many service companies: “The most important thing for a collaboration between IWS and the Port of Hanstholm is the flexibility that the port can offer, which makes it possible to expand our activities in line with the delivery of our fleet and the service projects that come along.

“Here, the many companies in and around the harbor also play a role, as they have the potential to participate in mobilization and planning of major operation and maintenance tasks for IWS. In addition, it is also an important parameter that the port can supply green power to our ships, because IWS exclusively deals with activities that deal with renewable energy, just as the six ships in the IWS fleet will all be hybrid ships that can sail on power.”

The agreement with IWS is of great importance for the development of the port of Hanstholm where fishing is increasingly expected to be joined by projects within freight and green conversion, and port manager Søren Zohnesen said that “We are very pleased with the interest shown by IWS in the port. This proves that the Port of Hanstholm’s developed framework and geographical location are interesting for the wind industry.

“It is therefore also important that we are keen on how we can best meet the industry’s needs. We have an ambition to be capable of delivering locally produced green power, just as we are continuously developing our facilities at the port. This is an important step in the development of a power center for Offshore Wind in the port of Hanstholm.”

The mayor of Thisted Municipality, Niels Jørgen Pedersen, is also very hopeful about which port activities the agreement with IWS can be the starting point for: “Port of Hanstholm undoubtedly holds great potential when we talk about projects for a green transition, which the agreement with IWS only confirms. We are currently experiencing a great deal of attention to how many possibilities can help shape an exciting future for the port.”