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IHC Merwede Expert Challenge won by Volker Staal en Funderingen


After three days of competition, Gerard Lak of Volker Staal & Fundering was declared the winner of the 2013 Expert Challenge at the EWEA Offshore in Frankfurt, Europe's largest offshore wind energy conference and exhibition.

The Expert Challenge was hosted by IHC Hydrohammer, IHC Handling Systems and IHC Sea Steel, all three business units of IHC Merwede. They challenged industry specialists in the offshore wind supply chain to prove just how much they knew about the best way to cut costs and boost margins in the installation of foundations for offshore wind structures.
Mr. Lak got more points than anyone else, and by winning the 2013 Expert Challenge trophy, Mr. Lak can deservedly be called a real expert on the subject of reducing the cost of installing foundations for offshore wind structures. Moreover, second place in the challenge went to Mr Wagenaar, also from VSF, which only confirms the level of expertise within Volker Staal en Funderingen.

Volker Staal en Funderingen (VSF) specialises in the design and construction of complex foundation structures and a large variety of steel structures. VSF, and its parent company Van Hattum en Blankevoort, are part of the VolkerWessels Group, one of the largest construction groups in Europe. VSF has a great deal of in-house experience and expertise in complex foundation techniques and steel structures. Coupled with an extensive fleet of (marine) equipment, including floating crane barges, VSF can provide a full project service to its clients, including design, engineering, and commissioning for projects both onshore and in near- and offshore waters.

In past years, VSF has carried out piling, grouting, and pile monitoring for jackets on several offshore wind farms. More recently, VSF has provided its specialist services for the installation of the Borkum Riffgrund 1 jacket and for both jacket and monopile foundation installation for West of Duddon Sands.

As renowned experts in the field of offshore wind, IHC Hydrohammer, IHC Handling Systems and IHC Sea Steel are extremely successful when it comes to reducing the cost of installing offshore foundations. Their leading role in cost reduction is based on a combination of systems with a proven track record and new innovations. IHC Merwede focuses on continuous investment in research and development to reduce costs in this sector by developing advanced equipment that is more efficient, easier to use, and produces less noise.


From left till right:
Joëlle Koomen (IHC Hydrohammer)
Remco Lowenthal (IHC Handling Systems)
Gerard Lak (Volker Staal en Funderingen)
Tim van Erkel (IHC Hydrohammer)