MHI Vestas’ 8 MW turbines selected for Belgium’s largest offshore wind park

Tuesday, 20 December, 2016 - 13:30
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind will provide its V164-8.4 MW turbines for the Norther project. (Photo: MHI Vestas)
MHI Vestas Offshore Wind will provide its V164-8.4 MW turbines for the Norther project. (Photo: MHI Vestas)

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind won the competitive tender process and was awarded the contract for the 370 MW Norther offshore wind power plant in Belgium.

Norther N. V. (Eneco/ Elicio) has taken Final Investment Decision for the Norther project. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind will provide 44 x V164-8.4 MW wind turbines to Belgium’s largest offshore wind project.

The V164-8.0 MW turbines – rated with a capacity of 8 MW – have been optimised for the project, utilising a power mode to be able to deliver a maximum output of 8.4 MW. Norther with an awarded grid capacity of 370 MW is located in the Belgian North Sea, approximately 23 km off the coast of Zeebrugge and is able to produce clean energy to cover the consumption of 400,000 Belgian households.

The project is owned by Norther N.V. a JV between Elicio and Boreas with three sponsors Elicio N.V. (50 %), Eneco (25 %) and Mitsubishi Corporation (25 %). When commissioned in 2019 the Norther project will be Belgium’s largest wind power plant.

“We are extremely pleased that Elicio, Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation chose MHI Vestas Offshore Wind using a competitive tender process,” CEO Jens Tommerup said. “Historically, MHI Vestas has had a strong footprint in the Belgium market and we know that our technology is well suited to conditions in the region.”

“Project Norther and its shareholders Elicio, Eneco and Mitsubishi Corporation are proud to conclude that after a long period of intense preparation and thanks to all parties involved we have been able to achieve financial close,” commented Dennis Sanou, Project Director Norther. “We are sure that the construction and commissioning of Norther in 2018 and 2019 will be a successful endeavour with reliable and experienced partners as grid operator Elia, turbine supplier MHI Vestas and subsea contractor Van Oord”.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will support the construction of the Norther wind farm off the Belgian coast with a loan of € 438 million. Half of this amount will be guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Juncker Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe. Norther is the third wind project off the Belgian coast to be supported under the EFSI. The total cost of the project is estimated to be € 1.1 billion, of which the EIB would provide nearly 40 %.

EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom commented: “Renewables are a long-term goal for the EIB and this signature shows that Belgium is serious about making the shift away from carbon-based energy production. In the last 5 years the EIB has invested over EUR 880 million in wind energy projects in Belgium to ensure a safe, affordable and diversified supply for a large portion of the Belgian population. Thanks to the backing under EFSI, the Bank can take on more of these projects, which create jobs while helping to support the energy switch.”

Silke Funke / MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

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