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Grenaa and Port of Grenaa may become one of several hotspots for reuse, recycling and upcycling of wind turbines when existing wind turbines are dismantled and removed from their original location. This is clear after Port of Grenaa has been involved in four years of developing collaboration with other knowledge-intensive European partners, including several universities, all of whom see a future industry established in the reuse and recycling of offshore wind turbines in particular.
For the past four years, Port of Grenaa has participated in DecomTools, an EU project that has been working on the possibilities to reuse and recycle mainly offshore wind turbines. The aim has been to gather experience and knowledge so that the industry can reduce the cost of decommissioning by 20% and reduce the environmental impact by 25%.
Within the next ten years, there will be many obsolete wind turbines to be dismantled across Europe. Wind turbines have a lifespan of around 25 years before they need to be taken down or, alternatively, 'life extended' with a thorough refurbishment. At Port of Grenaa there are already established companies specialising in reuse and recycling.
"Port of Grenaa is in a unique position to manage and recycle wind turbines in a sustainable way. We have a well-developed network of recycling companies and we are experts in logistics ourselves, which enables us to handle this in an efficient way," says Henrik Carstensen, CEO of Port of Grenaa and continues, "We are proud to be part of this future industry and work towards a sustainable solution for wind turbines. We look forward to offering our experience and expertise in this process."
Specifically, there are several ways to use the disused wind turbines. It can be recycling, of the parts that are in good condition. These parts can be used in other wind turbines. Metal can be remelted, the blades can be made into granules or used for something else entirely. Both needs and ideas are available, and Port of Grenaa has expert experience in logistics and a network of current customers who have extensive experience in the whole recycling idea.
"We see great potential in reusing and recycling wind turbines. This is not only good for the environment, but also for business, as it can reduce decommissioning costs and increase the possibilities to recycle individual parts," says Theis Gisselbæk, CCO of Port of Grenaa.
"There are already companies on Port of Grenaa that scrap wind turbines for reuse and recycling. What we are waiting for is that considerably more wind turbines are dismantled so that we can get started and run the project on a large scale. We have both the space and the expertise locally. So we are ready," concludes Theis Gisselbæk, stressing that Port of Grenaa would like to engage in dialogue with companies already working with, or seeking knowledge of, wind turbine recycling and reuse.
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