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From Old to New

Four months before the coronavirus pandemic, Niels began his new role at CORROSION, focusing on networking and meetings. Due to the pandemic, these became online coffee moments, which turned out to be a great success: “Towards the end, I was giving online presentations to about 120 people and had significantly expanded my network. I now travel regularly for my work to visit projects, trade fairs, and conferences.” With his background, Niels was already familiar with the basic principles and protection methods, but now the design and setup are different. The offshore wind sector is as different from the maritime world as night and day in terms of approach, working methods, and vision. Niels explains: “The maritime sector is characterised by professionals with a maritime or technical background. There is a strong emphasis on traditional and conventional thought patterns, making it take longer to accept innovations and controversial new techniques.” On the other hand, the offshore renewables sector offers plenty of room for rapid and innovative developments that benefit the market. Although new products and ideas are welcome, a proven track record is often required to realise them.

The owner and designer of an Offshore Wind Farm or Substation share the same goal and choose quality protection while saving costs. There is a willingness to think along in the sector, and networking is a crucial pillar in this.
– Niels Ros | CORROSION

Working Together for Results

Niels sees the offshore wind sector as a market currently in the growth phase towards maturity. The sector offers many opportunities for startups and companies looking to expand their portfolios, with numerous developments in innovation. Learning is happening at a rapid pace, and the solutions are technically advanced. This new knowledge and the products that result from it qualify for the WBSO (Research and Development Promotion Act), a tax scheme that reduces costs and encourages innovation. Niels says: “It’s smart for young entrepreneurs to delve into this. We work with various stakeholders on a product that is more cost-effective than current solutions. The owner and designer of an Offshore Wind Farm or Substation share the same goal and choose quality protection while saving costs. There is a willingness to think along in the sector, and networking is a crucial pillar in this. For example, the ICCP-SAM was developed in collaboration with Bluestream and is being applied in two new wind farms. The development, Proof of Concept, DNV approval, and implementation took three years.”

Niels Ros with a water tank

Pioneering Made Possible

CORROSION started in the maritime sector but has also been in the offshore wind sector for 15 years. The first project back then? The Greater Gabbard, the second largest offshore wind farm in the world, built on sandbanks 23 kilometres off the coast of Suffolk, England. It was the first offshore wind farm protected with the sustainable ICCP system. Today, 3,100 of CORROSION's Impressed Current Cathodic Protection systems are in use worldwide. Besides euphoria, there is also a serious tone in all projects, says Niels: “Contracts are complex and the risks are high. As a supply chain actor, we see an increase in the requested guarantee on products, and we spend a lot of time in discussions with the legal departments of those involved. CORROSION ensures quality by testing extensively in its own laboratory with saltwater tanks and a complete saltwater habitat. We develop, improve, and test our products, enabling us to pioneer but also to enhance existing quality tests of MMO anodes and test them under the actual conditions in which a wind farm is developed.”

Safety First

Cybersecurity is a topic that is in the spotlight in the sector, says Niels: “Wind farms are seen as power plants, are digitally easily accessible, and therefore vulnerable assets. As a supply chain actor, we have brought in experts in cybersecurity and handle the client's assets as well as the safety of our staff and hired subcontractors consciously. Each project has a different risk profile, which we map out.” If something goes wrong internally, the customers are also vulnerable, so every step in the supply chain must be guaranteed. With the upcoming European NIS2 directive, companies like CORROSION are required to perform a risk assessment and have an obligation to report incidents. Startups in the sector would do well to have not only a working product but also their cybersecurity and QHSE standards (Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment) in order and make good agreements with wind farm owners.

Niels Ros

Niels Ros

Manager Offshore Wind at CORROSION

Niels is Manager Offshore Wind at CORROSION

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