Northwind offshore wind farm set to sail as multi-million euro tender contracts are confirmed
Zeebrugge, March 26th 2012. Northwind NV proudly announces the conclusion of all contracts (subject to acceptable financial close) with suppliers and service providers flowing from their formal tendering process towards the completion of their envisaged Northwind Offshore Wind Farm, planned for construction on the Bank Zonder Naam (Lodewijkbank) off the coast of Zeebrugge in Belgium.
The tendering process was a daunting undertaking comprising the allocation of contractual work to this 900 Million Euro undertaking; one of the biggest business investments in Belgium over recent years. Focussed and well-prepared negotiations enabled the full process to be completed and duly signed within the approved budget parameters and are now subject to financial close with key stakeholders and banks.
This bodes particularly well for the project as it signals Northwind’s desire to start the negotiations towards financial close to authorise the start up of the construction phase. Construction of the wind farm is expected to begin in April 2013. The right combination of project partners with the best possible blend of skills and experience, have signed their commitment to the project, providing tangible evidence of the feasibility of this important project.
Northwind NV is headed by Frank Coenen, CEO, who was also involved in the very successful construction of the Belwind Bligh Bank Offshore Wind Farm. He is optimistic that the success story of Belwind is about to be repeated: “Our highly specialised team and the experience we gained from Belwind will now be further strengthened by the availability of the latest and most innovative installation and equipment technologies. This can only enhance the chances of the Northwind project to be developed swiftly, under stable conditions, with minimum risks and within budget.”
Frank Coenen also expresses his satisfaction that consensus had been reached with Belgium’s large consumers, represented by their industry federations, on what a future support system could look like. It would guarantee the stable development of further offshore wind power plants on the one hand while, on the other hand, ensuring firm control that lowered costs of production will be reflected in the support system in the form of Green Certificates.
Although this will not affect the wind farms already under construction (Belwind, Northwind and C-Power) who will operate under the existing legislation, this consensus benefits the four wind farms that are in currently in different stages of development. These will be only constructed after the transmission grid reinforcement by Elia (project Stevin) had been executed. This is scheduled for the years 2013 to 2014.