August 12 (SeeNews) - The consortium developing the 396-MW Merkur offshore wind project in the German North Sea has reached financial close on the scheme by raising roughly EUR 1.6 billion (USD 1.78bn).
A consortium of five sponsors has provided nearly EUR 500 million in equity. The group includes Swiss investment manager Partners Group Holding (SWX:PGHN) with a 50% stake held on behalf of its clients, InfraRed Capital Partners with 25%, DEME Concessions Wind with 12.5%, GE Energy Financial Services with 6.25% and French state-run agency ADEME with 6.25%.
At the same time, 10 banks have committed about EUR 1.2 billion of senior secured debt. The group includes KfW Mittelstandsbank, ABN Amro, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, KfW IPEX, Natixis, Rabobank, SEB, SMBC and Societe Generale.
The Merkur wind project was originally developed by insolvent German firm Windreich GmbH. DEME Concessions Wind, part of Belgian offshore construction specialist DEME Group, took over the development in early 2015 and was subsequently joined by the energy investing arm of General Electric (NYSE:GE).
Jerome Pecresse, president and CEO of GE Renewable Energy, commented that this would be the first large-scale commercial deployment of its Haliade 6-MW offshore wind turbine in Europe. The company will supply 66 units of that turbine model for the development in the German exclusive economic zone off the islands of Borkum.
GeoSea, another member of the DEME Group, will undertake the construction of the wind park. Work will start immediately, with offshore foundations installation scheduled to commence in August 2017. The plant is expected to be up and running in March 2019.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.116)