REpower Systems AG (WKN 617703), in which Suzlon Energy Limited is a majority shareholder with over 90 per cent holding , signed a contract with the Belgian offshore project development company, C-Power, for the delivery of 48 of the REpower 6M type wind energy turbines. The turbines have a total rated power of approximately 295 megawatt (MW) and are envisaged for phases 2 and 3 of the first Belgian offshore wind farm, Thornton Bank. Companies from Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Denmark are involved in the project at Thornton Bank, thus making it a landmark project for the European offshore wind industry.
The installation of 24 turbines for phase 2 is planned for 2012, and a further 24 are designated for installation during a third extension stage by mid-2013. So far, the closing of this contract , as measured by the investment volume , represents the biggest ever project financing in the offshore wind industry.
A bank consortium of seven commercial banks, together with the European Investment Bank is providing approximately EUR 900 million in financing. The total investment including the refinancing of the first phase project amounts up to approximately EUR 1.3 billion.
At the occasion of the formal signing in Antwerp, Mr. Andreas Nauen, CEO of REpower Systems AG, said: “We are extremely delighted about the trust once again put in REpower. The fact that we have been chosen as turbine supplier for the next two phases of the first Belgian offshore wind farm shows that the client is convinced by the quality and reliability of our offshore technology, proven in phase 1.”
Mr. Filip Martens, CEO of C-Power, added: “This financial close is a demonstration of the trust that shareholders, contracting parties and the finance community are giving on a well structured project, setting a good reference for the many more offshore wind farms to be financed in the near future.”
Speaking on the order, Mr. Tulsi Tanti, Chairman of the REpower supervisory board, said: “The offshore market is expected to grow by 42 per cent annually and by 2015, constitute to eight per cent of new global wind power installations, and Europe is clearly leading the way in this development.
“REpower is a leader in offshore technology and has proven expertise in building offshore wind farms in extremely challenging conditions. This contract illustrates that we are well poised to meet the demands of the burgeoning sector, and are poised to lead growth in this space.”
In 2008, REpower delivered and installed six turbines of the REpower 5M type for the first extension stage of Thornton Bank. The offshore wind farm, located around 28 kilometers off the Belgian coast in waters between twelve and 27 meters deep, was officially put into operation at the end of June 2009. In the first half-year of operation, it achieved a technical
availability rate of 94 per cent and in the second half, this increased to 97 per cent.
Panchabuta has earlier talked about Suzlon’s expectation of offshore wind in Europe to contributing significantly to its revenue in the near term.