Credits: Claudia Behrend, JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven/Björn Lübbe
“The Hooksiel outer port is located all the way up north,” explains Frerichs, who has overseen the port office since September 2022 and is the youngest manager at NPorts. She and her team of 18 are responsible for the wide variety of port activities, which begin with the smaller fishing boats and cutters so popular with tourists. And that is exactly where her most exciting day at NPorts ever started in December.
“It was a cold winter day when we boarded Argus, our multi-purpose vessel, with our branch manager, Mathias Lüdicke, and headed for the berth of LNG carrier Höegh Esperanza,” she recalls. “It was quite impressive to see a special ship like that guided to the pier berth at the Voslapper Groden transshipment facility and Germany’s first LNG terminal, monitored by ten police and SEK speedboats,” says the department head, who first studied maritime transport and port management at the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Elsfleth and then acquired her Master’s degree in maritime management.
Well-coordinated processes at the LNG terminal
LNG delivery has continued without a hitch ever since. “Once a week, a tanker arrives to supply ‘Höegh Esperanza’ with liquefied natural gas. The processes are well coordinated.” But as Head of the Port Office, she is also in charge of the other berth at the Voslapper Groden transshipment facility (UVG), which is used by chemical company Vynova and designed to handle ethylene and other chemical products.
The section of the port a little further south will soon make a name for itself nationally, as the Belgian operator Tree Energy Solutions (TES) has already begun constructing the second floating LNG terminal there, says Frerichs. Unlike UVG with its permanent sea bridge, this terminal will feature technology with a pipeline that is around 1,800 metres in length and secured both on and below the sea floor.
Further south, the recently delivered container cranes tower high above the approximately 130-hectare JadeWeserPort (JWP) operated by EUROGATE Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven. Germany’s newest container port and only deep-water port, which handled 683,403 standard containers (TEU) last year, is located here at the outer port. Right next door, Bulk Terminal Wilhelmshaven (BTW) features three berths, one of which processes ultra-large bulk carriers (ULBC).
“Once a week, a tanker arrives to supply Höegh Esperanza with liquefied natural gas.”
Ilka Frerichs is one of the youngest managers at NPorts and oversees the port office in Wilhelmshaven.