The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €250m in financing for SeaMade offshore wind project to be located off the Belgian coast.


Image: Financial close reached for SeaMade offshore project. Photo: Courtesy of Otary NV.

EIB is offering the guaranteed loan under the European Fund for Strategic Investments under the Juncker Plan, for the wind project. The offshore wind project includes two individual wind farms Mermaid and Seastar with 235MW and 252MW capacities, respectively. The two wind farms have a combined capacity of 487MW.

SeaMade, the partnership responsible for the development for the two wind farms, includes Otary, ENGIE Electrabel and Eneco Wind Belgium.

Construction work at the wind farms is expected to begin next year and they are scheduled to begin their operations in 2020. The SeaMade, when operational, will be able to generate clean electricity for more than 485,000 households, while offsetting more than 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Till date, the European Investment Bank has co-financed eight offshore wind projects in Belgium, including the SeaMade project. The projects have a combined capacity of 2.2GW, generating 7.8TWh of electricity, which will be sufficient to be supplied to about 2 million households.

EIB vice president Andrew McDowell said:  “This is a great example of the work of the EIB benefitting Europeans. Not only has the EIB, the EU Bank, backed the construction of all the wind farms in the Belgian concession on the North Sea, it also financed the research and development into the wind harnessing technology itself. This new offshore wind farm will mean access to clean energy for thousands.

Spanish wind turbine-maker Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has secured an order to supply turbines for 487MW SeaMade offshore wind project. The company will supply 58 of its SG 8.0-167 DD 8MW direct drive offshore wind turbines.

Otary said: “The SeaMade project attracted a very high level of interest and commitment from both the offshore wind industry and the financing community. SeaMade is financed by a unique group of public and private equity investors, while commercial lenders, multilateral institutions and export credit agencies provide non-recourse debt financing.”