Existing REpower clients RWE Innogy and EDF EN both have a share in C-Power as strategic partners. The wind turbines have a total rated power of approximately 295 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 Thornton Bank wind energy project, thus making it a landmark project for the European offshore wind power industry.
The installation of 24 wind turbines for phase 2 is planned for the spring of 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 energy industry.
A bank consortium of seven commercial banks, together with the European Investment Bank are 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. An export credits guarantee is generally promised by the German government. 55% of the investors come from Belgium.
At the occasion of the formal signing in Antwerp, 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.”
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.”
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%; in the second, this increased to 97%.
For phases 2 and 3, REpower’s scope of delivery covers – as in the first extension stage – the production and delivery of the nacelles, towers, blades and hubs as well as pre-installation in the port of Oostende. Furthermore, REpower is responsible for the installation, the commissioning and the test run of the turbines. REpower will deliver its full service product OFS for all three stages, which includes responsibility for operations and maintenance, as well as the transportation at sea.