ST3 Offshore for Sale After Entering Bankruptcy

Polish manufacturer of steel foundations for offshore wind farms, ST3 Offshore – which declared bankruptcy in March 2020 – has been put up for sale by the Official Receiver of the company in insolvency.

A tender has been issued for the sale of ST3 Offshore with a reserve price of the company amounting to PLN 234,680,000 net (around EUR 52 million).

To participate in the tender procedure, bids (unconditional and written in Polish) should be submitted in two copies until 14:00 on 10 March. One copy should be submitted to the District Court Szczecin-Center in Szczecin, and the other to the company’s Official Receiver.

A bidder also needs to submit proof of payment of a bid bond of PLN 23 million (around EUR 5.1 million) to the bank account of ST3 Offshore Sp. z o. o. in insolvency. Bidders also have the right to visit the company on working days from 10:00 to 14:00 after setting the deadline, according to the tender invitation.

At the beginning of 2018, the Polish manufacturer withdrew a previously issued bankruptcy petition, after receiving positive feedback from a District Court on its application to open restructuring proceedings which enabled implementation of a recovery plan and stabilisation of the company.

The company then also renegotiated the delivery deadline for its contract with Ørsted, for which ST3 Offshore was manufacturing 20 suction bucket jacket foundations. The foundations, produced for the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, were all delivered by June 2018.

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At the beginning of 2020, ST3 Offshore filed for bankruptcy as both its order book and financial support dried up. The Szczecin-Centrum District Court then officially declared the company bankrupt on 31 March.

ST3 Offshore was founded in 2012 and is a joint venture between Poland’s state-owned Mars investment fund (80 per cent) and ST3 Holding (20 per cent), a company owned by the Munich VTC group, which bought the shares in the company from Bilfinger in 2016. Before that, ST3 Offshore was known as Bilfinger Mars Offshore, with Bilfinger holding 62.5 per cent of shares and the state-owned Mars 37.5 per cent. Mars took over the majority stake in 2017.

Before going bankrupt, the Polish manufacturer was producing foundations for offshore wind farms outside Poland. Prior to its Borkum Riffgrund 2 job, and while operating as Bilfinger Mars Offshore, the company was awarded a contract for the Race Bank offshore wind farm with Ørsted (then known as Dong Energy), under which it delivered 91 foundations for the 580 MW project in the UK.

Meanwhile, Poland has ramped up its offshore wind ambitions, with concrete targets now in place.

This January, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda signed the Offshore Act, which allows for 10.9 GW of offshore wind capacity to be either operational or under development by 2027. By the end of June 2021, 5.9 GW of capacity will be offered via Contracts for Difference (CfDs).

This capacity will be allocated to projects which are at the most advanced stages of development, with some of these projects likely to be operational by 2025.

Photo: ST3 Offshore (archive)