Belgian windfarm project merger gets go ahead

The Seamade project will comprise 58 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbine generators Photo: Siemens The Seamade project will comprise 58 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbine generators Photo: Siemens

The European Commission has approved the merger project Seamade NV which is responsible for both the development of the Mermaid and Seastar offshore windfarms in Belgium.

Seamade intends to deliver renewable energy for 485.000 households, also allowing for a reduction of more than 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year by 2020.

“Through this merger, an international market trend is being followed by focusing not only on bigger turbines but creating synergies and scale effects,” said Mathias Verkest, CEO of Seamade NV.

Wind capacity

Seamade NV will be responsible for the development of both the Mermaid and Seastar areas, which together stand for a total capacity of 478,2 MW, around a quarter of the currently allocated offshore wind capacity in Belgium.

The merged project will allow to finance both projects through one project finance transaction.

The Seamade project will comprise 58 Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy wind turbine generators, with a rotor diameter of 167m, on monopile foundations and two offshore substations which will connect to ELIA’s Modular Offshore Grid.

Otary RS NV will remain the majority shareholder in the project. Otary’s shareholders include investment and development companies Green Offshore and Power @ Sea, dredging and marine engineering specialist DEME and green energy actors Aspiravi and Elicio.

In addition, the European Commission also approved the entrance of Eneco Wind Belgium SA in the share capital of Seamade. As of today, Eneco will hold 12.5 % of the shares in Seamade NV, whereas Otary and Electrabel will hold 70 % and 17.5 % respectively.

The aim is to achieve financial close by the end of this year. Construction could then start in 2019 helping to contribute to the Belgian 2020 climate objectives.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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