First of SeaMade’s two offshore substations sets sail to the Belgian North Sea

The first of two offshore substations for the SeaMade offshore wind farm left the construction yard in Hoboken for its final destination in the Belgian North Sea. The 1,200 tonne substation has four decks, is 14 metres high and has an output capacity of 235 MW.


With a 487 MW capacity SeaMade is the largest offshore wind farm in Belgium. SeaMade  originates  from the merger of two offshore wind projects, previously known as Mermaid (235 MW) and Seastar (252 MW). The SeaMade wind turbines are expected to produce green energy as from mid-2020 onwards, contributing to the Belgian climate targets and the country’s future energy supply.

After a successful collaboration on previous offshore wind farm projects, ENGIE Fabricom, Tractebel, Smulders and DEME Offshore joined forces for the full EPCI scope (engineering, procurement, construction, transport, installation and commissioning) of SeaMade’s high voltage substations.

The partners have a strong track record in offering integrated solutions to the global offshore wind industry.

The high voltage substation is the beating heart of the offshore wind farm. It transforms the wind energy that is produced to 225 kV, which in turn allows the electricity to transfer to shore via Elia’s Modular Offshore Grid (MOG).

Mathias Verkest, CEO SeaMade Offshore Wind Farm comments: “It is really exciting to witness the load-out of this massive 1,200 tonne steel construction at the Fabricom assembly yard. We are happy that the first out of two offshore substations is heading to the Mermaid concession area and are grateful for the tremendous hours of work spent by the combined teams to bring this to a success.Thanks to a close collaboration and the enormous commitment of a dedicated team and our contractors, we will be able to deliver green energy to 485,000 Belgian households.”

Philippe Van Troeye, CEO ENGIE Benelux: “ENGIE’s participation in the SeaMade offshore wind farm strengthens our position as the country’s largest green electricity producer and our ambition to be a leader in the zero carbon transition. We are proud to be involved in various areas of the SeaMade project. On the one hand, ENGIE has been a partner since the beginning of this important renewable energy project in Belgium, and on the other hand, the combined expertises of our subsidiaries ENGIE Fabricom and Tractebel have contributed to the successful construction of the substations.”

Bart de Poorter, General Manager DEME Offshore emphasises: “After the successful installation of the foundations and subsea cables we have accomplished yet another major milestone at the SeaMade offshore wind farm. This achievement highlights our knowledge and extensive expertise in offering innovative solutions for complex offshore wind projects. Thanks to our country being at the forefront of offshore renewable energy, we had the opportunity to develop a leading cluster of Belgian companies involved in the construction of offshore wind farms globally. The combined knowledge and experience of our highly skilled engineers can be applied to the most challenging projects. This is particularly important nowadays as the offshore wind industry extends its reach beyond Northern European waters.”

Raf Iemants, Managing Director of Smulders: “We’re very pleased that we could participate in the construction of the new Belgian offshore windfarms Mermaid and Seastar. The substations will join the already installed substations foundations and the 58 WTG foundations, which were also supplied by Smulders. Next step is the offshore installation of the Mermaid OSS and its commissioning to enable it to provide green power to Belgian households.”


About Seamade
SeaMade NV, is a combination of 2 offshore windfarm concessions: SEAstar (252 MW) and merMAID , (235 MW)  is a cooperation between:

  • Otary RS NV – 70%
  • Electrabel NV – 17.5%
  • Eneco Wind Belgium SA – 12.5%


Key facts

  • Total investment: € 1,3 billion
  • Total capacity of 487 MW
  • 40-50 km from the port of Ostend
  • 58 SGRE 8,4 MW offshore wind turbines
  • Height wind turbine at hub: 109 m
  • Diameter rotor: 167 m
  • Two offshore substations connecting to Elia’s offshore grid (MOG)
  • Yearly consumption of 485,000 households
  • Creation of 1,400 direct and 1,400 indirect jobs during the development and construction phase
  • Creation of 100 long term jobs when operational



About ENGIE Fabricom

ENGIE Fabricom designs, builds and maintains combined technical installations for companies and local authorities. Many of the company’s solutions are designed to improve mobility, safety, distribution networks, and the share of renewable energies, and to optimise operational and energy performance in industry. ENGIE Fabricom and its subsidiaries operate both inside and outside Belgium. With more than 5,500 employees, their joint turnover in 2019 was € 1.24 billion.

About Tractebel

Tractebel is at the forefront of the energy transition, and provides a full range of engineering and consultancy services, including design and project management, throughout the lifecycle of its customers’ projects. As one of the world’s largest consulting and engineering firms, and with more than 150 years of experience, it defines its mission as actively shaping the world of the future. The company employs 5,000 specialists in branches in 33 countries, who work together with clients on multidisciplinary solutions in energy, water and infrastructure.

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