Otary Becomes New Knowledge Centre for Wind Energy (Belgium)

Eight Belgian offshore wind specialists are pooling their experience and know-how in a new knowledge centre for wind energy at sea. Otary, as the new partnership is called, will construct and run offshore wind farms in Belgium and possibly abroad, should the opportunity arise.

The Otary partnership (via Otary plc RS) comprises the green electricity producers Electrawinds and Aspiravi, the investment and development companies Rent-A-Port and Power@Sea, the dredging and marine construction specialist DEME, the Walloon environmental holding SRIW Environnement, and the Flemish and Walloon energy and utility companies Nuhma and Socofe. All these partners are participating in one or more offshore wind energy projects in the North Sea.

In a first stage, Otary will focus on the development and construction of the offshore wind farms Rentel and Seastar. These wind farms will be run eventually by two independent operational companies (Rentel plc and Seastar plc), based on a 12.5% ownership stake for each Otary shareholder. Concessions for both Rentel and Seastar have been granted by the Belgian authorities. A separate and extensive licence file will now be prepared for each wind farm.

The Rentel and Seastar wind farms will be located 31 and 38 kilometres respectively from the Belgian coast. They will have an accumulated capacity of over 500MW. For a total investment of over 2 billion euros they will generate enough energy to cover the annual consumption of 610,000 Belgian families.

Depending on the speed at which the grid manager Elia completes the connection to the Belgian high voltage grid, both offshore wind farms will be constructed consecutively and in phases as from 2015. For the actual construction of the wind farm, preference will be given to Belgian and European companies, which will allow them, based on their experience, to strengthen their position on the international offshore market.

The project is still subject to approval by the competent authorities.


Source: deme  , February 24, 2011