WIND FARM UPDATE

Nordergründe

The 111MW Nordergründe offshore wind farm reached financial closure. The project developer WPD announced that it has secured funding for the next €410m phase of the wind farm. The funding includes loans from KfW IPEX-Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) and equity from WPD.

Nordergründe will have 18 Senvion turbines installed 16km off the German coast in the Weser Estatuary, in water depths varying from 2.5 to 10 metres. The main components will be provided by national/local companies. German steel manufacturer AMBAU will produce the monopile foundations. The foundations will have a long TP with a driven flange instead of a grout connection. The electrical WTG components will be placed in the upper side of the long TP. NSW have been awarded the EPCI contract for the cables while BVT will provide the offshore substation. German engineering and service company Bilfinger was awarded the transport and installation contract.

Once the wind farm is in operation Senvion will be responsible for the O&M services of the turbines on a 10 year contract while Deutsche Windtechnik will be responsible for all remaining O&M work. The location of the wind farm offers some challenges in reachability. The reason is to be found in the morphodynamics, as moving sand banks make it difficult to know exactly how the location will be at the time of construction. The offshore construction activities are planned to start in March 2016 and be completed by the end of the year.

Sandbank

Sandbank is a project by Vattenfall and Stadtwerke München. The 288MW wind farm is located 90km off the island of Sylt. It will have 72 Siemens 4MW turbines installed on monopile foundations in an area of 60m². At the moment the site has been cleared of UXO. Around 26 were removed. All scouring work has been completed also leaving the site ready for offshore construction.

On 11 June Swire Blue Ocean’s installation vessel Pacific Orca picked up her first load of 4 monopiles and TPs. The foundations are produced by Bladt Industries (TPs) and EEW Special Pipes (monopiles) and use a flange connection. In July the first monopole was installed. The cables will be installed by Dutch marine contractor VBMS. Sandbank will be the first German offshore wind farm that will have an offshore accommodation platform. Commissioning is expected in 2017 after when it will generate enough electricity to provide around 400,000 households in their annual energy needs.

Veja Mate

In June Veja Mate Offshore Project GmbH, a consortium including Highland Group Holdings Ltd., Siemens Financial Services and Copenhagen Infrastructure II, announced they had reached financial closure for their approximately €1.9bn planned 400MW Veja Mate wind farm. Veja Mate will be located 95km northwest of the island of Borkum and will have 67 turbines installed.

This was soon followed by new announcements concerning contracts for the supply of the components and providers of services.

A joint venture between Volker Stevin International and Boskalis was awarded a €500m contract for the design, procurement, fabrication, supply, transportation, installation and testing of 67 foundations for the Veja Mate offshore wind farm. The joint venture has subcontracted the foundation supply to Danish Bladt Industries and German EEW Special Pipe Constructions whereby Bladt will supply the transition pieces from their Aalborg facility and EEW Special Pipe Constructions the XXL monopiles from Rostock. The monopiles will have a diameter of around 7.8m, a length of up to 84.8m and weight of 1,200t in average. They are planned to be ready for load out by Q2 next year.

The wind farm is planned to become operational by the end of 2017 and will be providing green electricity to around 1 million German households. It will be connected to the national grid via the existing BorWin2 interconnector.

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