Rope manufacturer Bexco targets deepwater wind farms
In the past, rope makers transformed the thread, usually hemp, into rope. This profession has almost disappeared today. Or rather, it is in the hands of five professional companies from around the world, such as the Belgian specialist Bexco from Hamme. This company manufactures synthetic ropes more than 1,000 metres in length.
Synthetic ropes are used in the oil and gas industry and in shipping, for example, to moor supertankers to offshore buoys or anchor oil rigs to the ocean floor. But before that, the specialist craftsmen in the company's workshop carry out a whole series of complex preparatory operations by hand. The aim is to make the rope as strong, effective and resistant as possible. Bexco now also produces lifting slings, which are used to lift heavy wind turbine pylons and install them in the open sea.
To transport pylons weighing more than 140 tons, Bexco set up an innovative, climate-neutral branch office in 2014 in the Blue Gate Antwerp business park on the southern outskirts of the city, close to the River Scheldt. This means that its ropes can be transported perfectly on the water. Some of the staff with the necessary expertise and artisanal skills moved with them to make this specialisation a success. And it seems to be working pretty well.