Global scientific research over recent decades has shown that there is a link between the increase in CO2 emissions and climate change. Climate change leads to rising sea levels and coastal erosion, making coastlines more vulnerable and in need of extra protection. In addition, there are more extreme weather events and rivers are at greater risk of flooding. Boskalis offers sustainable adaptive and mitigating solutions in the form of the following activities.
Through our coastal defense and riverbank protection activities we are able to help countries to adapt to the consequences of climate change. Boskalis specializes in designing, realizing and maintaining sea defenses and beach replenishments. We widen rivers and channels and create floodplains to contain the water or facilitate drainage. Our Building with Nature approach plays an important part in the realization of these projects. In doing so, we also apply the basic principles of the circular economy by replacing materials such as concrete, basalt and rock for natural, renewable materials such as sand and mangroves. Examples include the creation of the Sand Motor, which allows for the natural and sustainable distribution of sand to protect the Dutch coast, and the combined approach of land reclamation and new mangrove forests to protect the North Java coastal area in Indonesia. This pilot program was launched in 2014 and in April 2015 turned into a public-private partnership with the aim of reinforcing the coastline over the next five years. Other examples in the Netherlands include the Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defense project, which included the creation of a panoramic dune and beach lagoon (read more in our client magazine at boskalis.com/magazine) and the Green Wave-reducing Dike in the Noorderwaard polder. Under the Room for the River program the dikes of this polder, which lies to the south of the city of Dordrecht and covers an area of 2,000 hectares, have been lowered over a length of several hundred meters. In order to prevent the local residents from getting their feet wet and having to look out onto a high, unsightly new-build dike, a willow forest was planted along the front of the existing dike. The willows are pollarded every other year to encourage the stumps to produce new shoots, which absorb a large part of the wave action. The willows are expected to be able to absorb up to 80% of the waves’ force.
Using renewable energy to mitigate carbon emissions
Our offshore wind farm activities contribute towards greater availability of renewable energy. As one of the top five players in this market, we keep expanding our role by providing a broader range of services for increasingly complex projects. We provide our services for the transportation, delivery, installation and protection of substations, turbines and turbine foundations and through VBMS, also handle the supply and installation of cables. In addition, we are handling an increasing number of construction, procurement and engineering services, in which logistics and risk management play an increasingly important role. The UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark are the countries where the most new offshore wind farms are being built, with around 30 offshore wind farm projects planned between now and the end of 2020. For most of these projects, the necessary environmental permits have already been secured, and in many cases the financial and other enabling conditions have also been met. Parallel to this, preparations are underway for the construction of several substations and grid platforms. The latter are the ‘big offshore power sockets’, to which two or three wind farms can be connected. Examples include SylWin1 and DolWin2, in which Boskalis was closely involved, and the DolWin3 platform, which we are due to transport and install in 2016. In 2015, we performed a great deal of work on the preparations for the Wikinger offshore wind farm, and in late 2015 we also started work on the design, procurement, manufacture, supply, transportation, installation and testing of 67 wind turbine foundations for the Veja Mate offshore wind farm in the German section of the North Sea. Furthermore, in 2015 VBMS won two contracts for the installation of power cables for the Galloper offshore wind farm that will comprise 56 wind turbines. This park is situated 27 kilometers off the Suffolk coast in the UK.