August 3 (Renewables Now) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved financing for the recently merged Belgian offshore wind projects Mermaid and Seastar, whose capacity will be close to half a gigawatt.
The bank did not reveal the amount of financing for the Seamade project, which it said will have a total installed capacity of up to 488 MW, depending on the final design. It is a partnership between Otary RS NV, which gathers eight Belgian offshore wind players, Dutch utility Eneco's unit Eneco Wind Belgium SA and Electrabel NV, a local subsidiary of Engie SA (EPA:ENGI). The respective stakes of the three partners are 70%, 12.5% and 17.5%.
Mermaid and Seastar, now Seamade, will be located in an offshore wind zone off the coast of Zeebrugge. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE) will supply the 58 turbines, with construction scheduled for 2019. The merged project is to be commissioned by 2020.
In July, the EIB said it had approved more than EUR 3.4 billion (USD 3.94bn) in financing for clean energy projects globally, among which was an offshore wind farm in Belgium, solar projects in Spain and three hydropower plant (HPP) projects in Portugal.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.16)