December 3 (Renewables Now) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) said Monday it will lend EUR 250 million (USD 284m) to support construction of 487 MW of offshore wind capacity in Belgian waters.
The financing is for the 235-MW Mermaid and 252-MW Seastar wind projects by SeaMade NV, which together require an investment of some EUR 1.3 billion. The EIB loan is fully guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
SeaMade NV is a joint venture, in which the majority stake is owned by the Otary group, gathering eight Belgian players in offshore wind energy. Other participants include Dutch utility Eneco's unit Eneco Wind Belgium SA and Electrabel NV, a local subsidiary of Engie SA (EPA:ENGI).
Including this latest announcement, the EIB has co-financed eight wind projects off the coast of Belgium with a total capacity of 2.2 GW, generating in total 7.8 TWh of electricity. SeaMade alone will be producing enough power for 485,000 homes by 2020, avoiding over 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) every year.
The European Commission (EC) in September approved Belgium’s plan to provide state aid for a trio of offshore wind projects -- Mermaid, Seastar and the 219-MW Northwester 2 park. Support will come in the form of tradable certificates.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.14)