It was ten months ago that the Port Authority and the LBC went in search of a suitable operational partner to develop the wind farm. The choice finally fell on the Antwerp Green Port consortium at the beginning of this month. “They presented us with a bold, straightforward plan with a clear focus on the specific requirements of an operational port environment,” explained LBC chairman Peter Deckers. “We were also impressed by the strength of the team and the solid financial offer that they put together. Together with them we will set the bar very high for development of wind power on the left bank,” Deckers added. Antwerp Green Port is a combination of Electrawinds, the Polder Investment Fund, Aspiravi and Vleemo.
The first practical step will be for the three partners to set up a project company, with the Port Authority holding 47% of the shares, the LBC 28% and Antwerp Green Port 25%. The board of directors will have seven members: three from the Port Authority, two from the LBC and two from Antwerp Green Port.
The first task for the project company will be to develop the wind turbines laid down in the cluster plan. Previous research has shown that the wind farm has a maximum potential for 55 wind turbines. “This project will practically double the amount of wind power produced in Flanders. On the left bank alone we will generate enough energy for 100,000 to 120,000 households,” declared Marc Van Peel, chairman of the Port Authority.
“We are very satisfied with this decision, as it is an acknowledgement of our expertise,” declared Paul De fauw of Antwerp Green Port. “The partners in the consortium have the know-how and experience to successfully develop the largest wind farm in Belgium. We are also pleased with the agreement of Belgocontrol to collaborate in development of the wind farm. This will enable us to draw up a wind turbine plan for the whole of the Antwerp port area, and also make a start on the right bank.”
The construction of wind turbines forms part of the action plan by the Port Authority and the Left Bank Corporation for developing renewable energy sources. The action plan in turn is an important element in the sustainability policy of both bodies for the entire port. Both wish to make maximum use of the potential on the left bank.
By José Santamarta, www.portofantwerp.com