Developments in the offshore wind sector are indispensable for the energy transition. And Dutch companies also play an important role in the future of this sector.
For example, below you can read about IQIP who, among other things, installs SIF's monopiles as foundations at offshore wind farms. But at least as interesting is the story of SIF, they are using the green cover to invest in a new factory for even larger monopiles.
IQIP specializes in installing offshore foundations in particular.
Worldwide, IQIP employs about 300 people across nine locations including branches in the US, China and Australia. The head office is located in Sliedrecht. Of course, we have published more articles about the offshore wind sector in the past. For example, we have paid extensive attention to the offshore wind farms off the coast of Taiwan. As a foundation installation specialist, IQIP is an incredibly important player in this sector.
We have a fleet of more than 2,000 pieces of equipment especially for placing offshore foundations around the world. Not only in the wind sector but also, for example, civil works such as bridges and ports, and still a bit of oil and gas.
Installing foundations always requires a trinity. You need the hammer, the most important component of which is a percussion weight with which you get the foundation into the ground. In addition, a so-called sleeve consisting of a percussion plate and a percussion plate housing, and finally a power pack to get the hydraulic oil needed to move the hammer to sufficient pressure. But we also have handling systems with lifting tools and extensive control and monitoring systems to ensure that the work is done properly and above all safely.
Recently IQIP applied for green cover because of the expansion of its leasing fleet. In this case, it is particularly concerned with expanding the number of large hammers.
"The offshore wind industry is growing incredibly fast, the whole world is involved. That is also the main reason for us to expand our fleet. We see a lot of activity especially in Europe and the East Coast of the US. Mainly we are well positioned for the projects in the North Sea, because as a shallow sea, with a lot of wind and many customers for the generated electricity nearby, it is the Saudi Arabia of wind. With that, the North Sea is therefore fast becoming Europe's energy factory." Peter Wit, CFO at IQIP.
As a service organization, IQIP often receives data supplied by the customer on the type of soil and the type of pile to be installed as a foundation. IQIP's geo-engineers then produce a drivability study and then determine what needs to be done and discuss this with the end customer.
Installing these foundations can be quite disruptive to marine life because of noise pollution. Therefore, IQIP has designed special equipment so that the noise is greatly attenuated. They are currently testing a completely new technology using water as a weight for the hammer, which should ensure even less noise pollution in the future.
IQIP was already familiar with Atradius Dutch State Business through IHC. Since their investments will exclusively be used on offshore wind projects, they also match well with the green cover. This step was therefore quickly taken, especially since opportunities for a longer term of the investment were considered. The term was eventually set at 7 years, with a banking consortium of ABN AMRO, ING, Commerzbank and HSBC stepping in. The green cover means they have much lower risk and more favorable terms for IQIP.
"In addition to the green cover, we do make frequent use of Atradius Dutch State Business, including for bank and cash guarantees. But we also use the regular offers of Atradius, offering to insure the payment risk of our own customers. Thus we cover our risks on all fronts." Peter Wit, CFO at IQIP.
"Actually, longer-term investments in this sector are quite challenging because all the parts of the wind turbines have become very fast, much bigger. By the way, we notice that this is a challenge for the whole supply chain. We have to adapt our equipment to that. Moreover, we continue to invest continuously in new technologies."
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