On the occasion of Global Wind Day, Belgian politicians – Governor of East Flanders Carina Van Cauter, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the North Sea Vincent Van Quickenborne and Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten – officially inaugurated the two wind turbines that Luminus has built on the site of Jan De Nul Group in Zelzate, located in Ghent port area. These wind turbines contribute to the realisation of the Code Zero programme of Jan De Nul Group, which focuses on zero emissions, zero accidents, zero breaches and zero waste.
Pioneer in energy transition
Both Jan De Nul and Luminus are pioneers in energy transition. Over the past ten years, Luminus has invested more than 1 billion euro in renewable energy projects, primarily in wind energy. With 273 onshore wind turbines by the end of this year, the company will have over 700 MW of installed capacity, having doubled the installed capacity in five years. The Luminus wind farms thus produce 1,300 GWh of green energy, which equates to the energy consumption of 370,000 families. This means that for the seventh year in a row, Luminus remains the number 1 in onshore wind energy in Belgium.
Grégoire Dallemagne, CEO of Luminus: "The current geopolitical context shows us more than ever that renewable energy, including wind power, has a major role to play in the energy transition. If we want to achieve the climate targets of 2050, we have to put all our efforts into electrification. Electricity is the only energy that can be mass-produced in a CO2 neutral way or with limited CO2 emissions. Our wind energy ambitions fit in perfectly with our mission, which is to build a CO2 neutral energy future where protecting the planet, the wellbeing of people and economic growth are reconciled through electricity and innovative solutions and services. To meet this challenge, we need support and a strong regulatory framework as it becomes increasingly difficult to get permits for our wind projects."
Jan De Nul also plays an important role in the energy transition. The company is probably best known to the general public as a civil and maritime construction company, but the global energy and sustainability challenges have in recent years resulted in an ever-widening range of activities for the company. For example, Jan De Nul connects electricity networks of different countries worldwide by installing interconnectors, submarine cables of up to hundreds of kilometres long, to align electricity supply and demand. But Jan De Nul also deploys specialised vessels to contribute to the production of energy by building offshore wind farms, an industry that in recent years has evolved at lightning speed, both on a technological level and in terms of size. Worldwide, there are only a few companies that can fully design, develop and build such installations, and Jan De Nul is one of them.
Julie De Nul, CEO Jan De Nul Dredging nv: "The energy transition today is first and foremost an electricity transition. If we want to be able to provide the world with the required supply of electricity, the industrial chain will have to face a challenging period. As Jan De Nul, we are proud that with our worldwide activities we can contribute to this further up-scaling. Not only do we install the necessary infrastructure at sea, we also offer space on land for generating green electricity on our permanent sites and on our projects. Just think of the Zonneberg, our own office buildings and now also the turbines of Luminus on our site in Zelzate. We are delighted with this partnership and want to continue this trend by making all our sites available for similar projects, so that – together – we can make a significant contribution to the much needed energy transition."
100% green and local power
The two wind turbines that were officially inaugurated today at Jan De Nul in Zelzate were constructed on site at the Karnemelkstraat in late 2021. With an installed capacity of 3.45 MW each, they produce about 17,100 MWh each year, which corresponds with the consumption of more than 4,500 households. The locally generated green power accounts for an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of approximately 3,625 tonnes of CO2, compared to the Belgian energy mix.
The energy transition today is first and foremost an electricity transition. If we want to be able to provide the world with the required supply of electricity, the industrial chain will have to face a challenging period. As Jan De Nul, we are proud that with our worldwide activities we can contribute to this further up-scaling. CEO Jan De Nul Dredging nv
The inauguration of the wind turbines was preceded by a boat trip on the Ghent Canal. Apart from the ministers, other politicians, business leaders and stakeholders took part in the tour. From the water, the ministers and 100 other guests got a good view of Jan De Nul's site in Zelzate.
Carina Van Cauter, Governor of East Flanders: "The Ghent Canal Zone is an area of cooperation where we do not think in terms of tonnage, but in terms of added value and reduction of CO2 emissions. Whereas not so long ago sustainability was seen as a risk and a cost element, today it is synonymous with opportunities and economic growth. With the convergence of various industries, the Ghent Canal Zone is ideally placed to play a pioneering role in this respect.
Tinne Van der Straeten, Energy Minister: "Increasing the share of renewable energy is the way out of the energy crisis. If we want to protect our economy, our citizens and our companies from rising prices, we must accelerate the energy transition. In this case, it is imperative to seize all the opportunities that are offered to us. Luminus and Jan De Nul are leading companies in the energy transition, turning ambitious plans into reality. Producing energy from renewable sources is good for the citizen's wallet, helps to reduce CO2 emissions and strengthens our energy independence. Success will depend entirely on collaborations such as this one between Luminus and Jan De Nul. In addition, the cooperation between policy makers, companies and citizens will also be crucial.”
Vincent Van Quickenborne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the North Sea: "The North Sea is becoming the engine of our energy independence. We are number 6 in the world in terms of the number of wind turbines. We will triple this capacity by 2030 and even quadruple it by 2040. That's why we are making optimal use of space, installing more powerful wind turbines and investing in innovative new techniques. As a result, every Belgian household will be supplied with green energy from our North Sea. But it doesn't stop there. We also want to make our country the first in the world to install floating solar panels at sea. To this end, we will be investing heavily in this area in the coming years.
Finally, algae will be turned into a source of biofuel. The North Sea provides our country with the necessary impetus to become independent of Russian gas."