Dredging companies DEME and Jan De Nul, world leaders in dredging and constructing offshore wind farms, are joining forces to create the energy island that will be built off the Belgian coast.
Both Belgian companies – eternal competitors but now united in a new consortium called TM Edison – have won the tender for constructing Princess Elisabeth Island, as the future energy island at the North Sea will be called.
The fact that the two companies are joining forces – although not for the first time – is prompted by the complexity of the project and the tight timing. By August 2026, the project should be ready.
This means building the foundation will start at the beginning of 2024. High-tension grid manager Elia, which will manage the island, hopes installations will be operational by 2030. By then, the high-voltage connections of Ventilus (West Flanders) and Boucle du Hainaut (Hainaut) should also be ready for use.
24 football fields
Princess Elisabeth Island will be located about 45 kilometers off the Belgian coast. It will cover about six hectares – 24 football fields – and eventually provide our country with the electricity generated by the many wind turbines in the North Sea. By constructing the artificial energy island, Belgium scores a world first.
The island will bundle all electricity produced by the new wind farms at sea and become the central power point for future interconnectors – the so-called undersea high-tension lines to Great Britain (Nautilus) and Denmark (Triton). It will become the transmission hub for the Belgian wind farms, the cable to and from Denmark, and the Nautilus cable to and from the UK.
The price of the project was estimated at 450 million euros, but, in the meantime, it has increased to 600 million euros due to inflation and increased prices of raw materials. Europe will pay 100 million via the Recovery Fund. In October, Elia estimated the total cost – for the island construction and all interconnectors and cables – at more than two billion euros.
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