The accommodation platform for offshore crews is now being built in Emden, Germany, on the North Sea coast. Starting this summer, fifty berths distributed over five and a half decks will be in place 90 kilometres off the German North Sea coast, to accommodate offshore installers for the DanTysk offshore wind farm. The farm's location required a sophisticated maintenance approach as it would be too costly and time consuming to transfer maintenance staff from the coast on a daily basis. Now, the commuting time will be very short because the first wind turbines are located exactly 1.5 kilometres away. This is a big advantage according to Christof Huss, Operations Manager of the wind farm.
The accommodation platform will be mounted 20 metres above sea level on a steel structure, which is also being built in Emden. Right now there are various solutions for living on offshore platforms.
"In Denmark they have a smaller accommodation platform which is used six months of the year," says Huss. "In the oil and gas extraction business there are also housing units on platforms, but our requirements are different. We based our approach on shipbuilding."
The installers spend two weeks on site, working in 12-hour shifts.
"Here you see the men's changing room. Or at least the lockers, since some things aren't finished yet. The technicians come in here after work, take off their work clothes to have a shower, and then go to the living area," explains Huss.
"One of our special considerations is that in the winter there is a lot of time when the weather is not suitable for working outdoors. Among other things, we adjust our menus accordingly so our staff can stay healthy," says Huss. That's also the reason there is a fitness equipment room and a cinema.
One of Huss's colleagues describes the accommodation as "prices like a luxury hotel, facilities like a youth hostel".
"We have to make sure that people are treated well here. That even includes proper waste disposal. The platform is designed and built so it can operate fully autonomously for three weeks."
Along with the already mentioned facilities, it houses a laundry, a sewage treatment plant, and air conditioning and water treatment.
Supply logistics are handled by helicopter and ship.
"Everything has to be ready this summer," says Huss.