The European Investment Bank (EIB) will support the construction of the Northwester 2 wind farm off the Belgian coast with a loan of EUR 210 million.
Slightly more than half of this amount will be guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The total cost of the project is estimated to be around EUR 642 million.
The 219MW Northwester 2 is the fourth wind project off the Belgian coast to be supported under the EFSI. Construction is set to begin in May of next year and the wind farm's 23 MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines are expected to become operational in 2020.
The project is estimated to create several hundreds of person-years in employment during the construction phase, with a further 20 full-time positions created once operational.
"The EU has been an early mover on renewables and thanks to our policy framework, providing certainty and the right conditions to investors, the European renewables sector has reached a mature stage,'' European Commission's Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, responsible for Energy Union, said.
''This new wind farm off the Belgian coast – with a strong innovative and cross-border component – is yet another proof how committed we are to investing into energy of tomorrow. Renewables not only bring clean energy to numerous homes, but can also create a diversity of local jobs and business opportunities. Let’s keep up the good work for our Planet as well as our economy.”
At the end of September, the European Commission approved Belgium’s EUR 3.5 billion support for three offshore wind projects in the Belgian North Sea: Northwester 2, and the 235MW Mermaid and 253MW Seastar, now the Seamade project.