Financing for offshore wind farm Merkur secured

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016 - 11:00
At the offshore wind park Merkur in the German North Sea, GE’s Haliade 150-6MW turbines will be used on a larger scale for the first time. (Photo: GE)
At the offshore wind park Merkur in the German North Sea, GE’s Haliade 150-6MW turbines will be used on a larger scale for the first time. (Photo: GE)

The financial close has been confirmed for the offshore wind park Merkur with a total capacity of 396 MW. A total capital investment of € 1.6 billion has been raised and the investor consortium consists of GE, DEME, the Partners Group, InfraRed Capital Partners and the French organization ADEME.

The offshore wind park will be installed 45 km north of the island Borkum in the German North Sea. It will be the first time that the GE Haliade 150-6MW, a direct drive wind turbine, will be used on a larger scale. Overall, 66 of those 6 MW wind turbines are expected to produce 1,750 GWh of power per year after their installation at Merkur.

Merkur is one of the biggest financing plans for offshore wind projects in Germany. Installation is scheduled to start right away. Merkur Offshore Wind GmbH will be responsible for operating the wind turbines of GE after DEME has installed them.

A total capital investment of approximately € 1.6 billion was raised from equity investors and bank lenders on a non-recourse project financing basis. Close to € 500 million in equity was provided by the consortium of five sponsors. Another group of ten lenders, comprised of local and international banks, committed approximately € 1.2 billion of senior secured debt to the project. These include nine commercial lenders and the German KfW Mittelstandsbank, which will support the project within its German Offshore Wind Programme.

“With several coal-fired and nuclear power plants due to be retired across Germany by 2020, Merkur is a timely project and will contribute towards maintaining the country's energy supply, while catering to the long-term shift towards renewables in the power generation mix. On this project we have strong and experienced equipment and engineering partners, as well as equity partners, and look forward to working with them to successfully complete Merkur,” stated Brandon Prater, Partner and Co-Head Private Infrastructure at Partners Group.

“GeoSea, DEME’s specialist in complex offshore marine engineering projects, will realize the construction of Merkur Offshore. Our specialist team in Bremen will play a major role in the execution of the project, contributing significantly to Germany’s energy transition plans,” Alain Bernard, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the DEME Group said.

Tanja Peschel / GE

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