A small, sleepy port on the Danish island of Rømø located on the North Sea coast close to Germany, currently the base of local fishermen and a ferry route, could be about to transform into a bustling hub for servicing offshore wind turbines planned to be installed in German waters south of the island, reports daily business paper ErhvervsBladet.
Rømø plans to build a new 400 metre quay, a project estimated to cost DKK 300m (USD 57.9m), and to subdivide a 25 hectare business area close to the port to develop a service and maintenance centre for offshore wind turbines.
Mikkel Glerup, manager of the Port of Rømø, says: "Over a few years, at a conservative estimate, 250-400 new jobs can be created by being the port that services the German wind turbines. But in 10 years, probably between 500 and 1,000 jobs will be created – besides all the derived jobs that follow in its wake."
Some companies have already eyed the business opportunities. The Danish company Blue Water Shipping has established a presence in the port, and a German shipping company has announced that it will locate there.
The costal city of Esbjerg just north of Rømø is developing into Denmark's leading offshore city, but Glerup says that Rømø's big strength is that its port will be the closest to the northern German offshore wind turbines:
"When offshore wind turbines need to be serviced, proximity is the absolutely most important thing. And for the wind farm that will be located in the northern part of the German bay, it is 65 nautical miles from Esbjerg while there is only 27 nautical miles to the Port of Rømø. And the closest German port which is not troubled by low water, lies 120 nautical miles away."