UPDATE - Seamade achieves fin close on 487-MW Belgian offshore wind project

Siemens Gamesa's SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbine. Image source: ├śrsted

December 3 (Renewables Now) - Seamade NV, a joint venture between Otary RS NV, Engie Electrabel NV and Eneco Wind Belgium SA, announced today it has achieved financial close for a two-site Belgian offshore wind project totalling 487 MW.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (BME:SGRE) said separately it has received a formal order from Seamade to deliver and commission 58 units of its SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbine for the 252-MW Seastar and 235-MW Mermaid schemes, which are being developed as part of a single project.

Otary, which itself is a partnership between several firms such as marine engineering specialist DEME, holds a 70% stake in the combined project. Engie Electrabel owns 17.5% and Eneco Wind Belgium has the remaining 12.5%.

The Aspiravi Group, one of the parties behind Otary, said in a statement that the project is financed by an international credit consortium that includes the European Investment Bank (EIB), Danish export credit agency EKF and 15 commercial lenders such Santander, BNP Paribas, ING, KfW IPEX and Societe Generale. The EIB itself announced it will lend EUR 250 million (USD 284m) to support construction of the wind parks. The total cost of the combined development is estimated at EUR 1.3 billion.

Siemens Gamesa expects offshore construction to begin next year and the wind power complex to be up and running before the end of 2020. The Seastar site will use 30 units of the 8-MW turbine, while Mermaid will feature 28 such machines. The Spain-based company will be servicing them over a period of 17 years.

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)

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