Die Regierung muss für Rahmenbedingungen und Finanzmittel sorgen, dass diese nationale Aufgabe sofort mit aller Kraft umgesetzt werden kann

The Wilhelmshavener Hafenwirtschafts-Vereinigung e.V. is once again making an urgent appeal to the responsible ministries in Hanover and Berlin to make it clear that more port infrastructure is urgently needed in order to achieve the energy targets we have set ourselves in the offshore sector.

There are only a few expansion options on the German North Sea coast for the special requirements of installation and base ports for offshore wind turbines - one of which is in Wilhelmshaven! The second construction phase of the JadeWeser Port (JWP) can be built in such a way that it fulfills several port functions at the same time.

The Wind Energy at Sea Act (WindSeeG), as last amended on 22.03.23, sets very ambitious targets for future electricity production in the offshore area of the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In order to achieve the expansion targets set there of 30 GW by 2030 and 70 GW by 2045, the infrastructural prerequisites must be created. This includes not least the special port facilities in terms of scope and quality. Translated with (free version)

WHV e.V. agrees with many professional associations and experts that this is a national task!

Today's offshore wind turbines with an output of 14 MW and more consist of components with very large dimensions and high weights, which can only be pre-assembled in the coastal area and transported by sea to the North Sea clusters.

Only Wilhelmshaven has the necessary potential for this mammoth task.

Sufficient load-bearing quay facilities and large usable areas for various functions such as the storage, pre-assembly, servicing and recycling of offshore wind turbines (OWT) can be made available there as required.

In the interests of the German economy, the transformation process must be supported and enabled by sustainable infrastructure. The German energy industry would be strengthened by the creation of optimal framework conditions for the expansion of the offshore wind industry, also to the benefit of the industrial network and the economy as a whole.

The WindGuard study from September 2023 states that the currently usable port areas and quay facilities in the German ports are largely utilized. The need for port infrastructure in order to achieve the aforementioned expansion targets is determined to be an additional approx. 300 ha of space and highly resilient quay facilities, which are currently not available. The previous, reactive port strategy of demand-driven port expansion must now lead to an offensive adaptation of the port infrastructure in order to secure Germany as an industrial location!

The figures speak for themselves:

  • Bis 2030 müssten jährlich 270 Offshore Windenergieanlagen (OWEA) à 14 MW (insges. 1535 OWEA) installiert werden, bis 2045 wären darüber hinaus 2.666 OWEA à 14 MW zu errichten, um die Ausbauziele 30 GW bzw. 70 GW zu erreichen.
  • However, only 8.1 GW of capacity with 1539 lower-power WTGs have been installed in Germany up to 2022.

With the current version of the WindSeeG, an accelerated expansion with high performance targets was agreed. Under agreements such as the "More Wind at Sea" of November 3, 2022, the northern German states have undertaken to "closely coordinate the necessary steps together and ... provide the necessary preliminary work" themselves. The offshore grid connections are important components of this. Wilhelmshaven is assigned a special role as a landing point, as can be seen in the activities of Tennet with the planning and implementation of transformer stations, converters and extra-high voltage lines by 2030.

As one of several inquiries, Shell Germany explained to us the plans it has been pursuing for some time in connection with its offshore wind division. It presented a very specific catalog of port infrastructure requirements for an offshore base port and an offshore supply port:

Two berths with a total length of 500 m, a water depth of 10.5 m, a load capacity of between 40 and 80 t/m² in some areas and a port area of 20 ha are being sought for a base port, which could be built at JWP II, for example. With today's installation logistics, such a port has the advantage that the blades can be transported transversely on the installation ship, with a total width of up to 100 m. From a traffic and nautical point of view, this is most likely to be possible on the Jade and the approaches without long interruptions to traffic.

Areas and quays in the inner harbor can also be used for an offshore supply port, i.e. special tasks below large component logistics. Preparations for this have already begun.

Both of the above requirement profiles could be realized in Wilhelmshaven.

Our demand: The JadeWeserPort must urgently be extended by the second construction phase.


With the second expansion stage of the JadeWeserPort, which has been determined to be feasible, up to 300 ha of additional terminal area would be created with a quay length of 1800 m.

The JWP II therefore offers ideal conditions for future usage requirements - flexible as a multi-purpose terminal:

  • Only the JWP II offers the large assembly and logistics areas required for the rapid expansion of offshore wind energy in Germany
  • Transshipment options via a RoRo terminal, e.g. for car imports
  • Potential use of strategic transshipment and relocation services by Bundeswehr and NATO units
  • for the dismantling and recycling of offshore installations
  • as well as the possibility of further developing this extension for the expansion of the container terminal in line with demand

Expansion strategy for JWP II

The expansion strategy for JWP II consists primarily of meeting the acute demand for offshore transshipment and storage areas as well as transshipment facilities for car imports in the short to medium term.

The new alliance between Hapag Lloyd and Maersk to form the Gemini cooperation announced for 2025 gives reason to concentrate handling activities for ultra-large container ships there as the first and last container port on the Europe-Far East route. According to experts, this will lead to increased handling volumes in the medium term and make it necessary to expand the JadeWeserPort in the foreseeable future. In combination with the other utilization options, the expansion can therefore be brought forward in order to increase the attractiveness and profitability of Germany's only deep-water port.

For the offshore wind industry, JWP II would provide suitable infrastructure for installation vessels and large seagoing vessels. Large, contiguous areas would provide extensive possibilities for the storage and pre-assembly of components. The A29 federal highway ends south of the port, so that delivery traffic is also directly guaranteed for heavy loads and large equipment components. After the wind energy expansion phases, the areas could be flexibly available for subsequent uses, e.g. for expanding container handling, dismantling and recycling activities or as a multi-purpose terminal.

WHV e.V. has made it urgently clear that the federal government must assume a significant share of the financing for the energy transition as a national task. To this end, the revenue from the allocation of offshore areas to developers and operators of offshore wind farms must be earmarked. Last year, the federal government received tens of billions from this.

Here, too, the strategically important projects should be implemented at the politically proclaimed "new German speed"! It is high time that the state of Lower Saxony took care of the development of the JadeWeserPort now. It offers excellent conditions and opportunities for the politically desired port coordination and cooperation at various levels, in governmental, operational and transport terms.

WHV e.V. considers an acceleration law to be necessary for this specific task and has made proposals for this.

In view of the currently still long approval times of 7 to 10 years, the initiative must now be taken to resume planning for the second construction phase in order to start the expansion before 2030 if possible.

This requires clear political and financial support from the federal government!

Michaela Stolper