Construction starts for 165MW Belgian offshore wind project

25 October 2015 (Last Updated October 25th, 2015 18:30)

Construction works for the 165MW Nobelwind wind farm in Belgium have been initiated after the developers secured €460m in financing.

Construction works for the 165MW Nobelwind wind farm in Belgium have been initiated after the developers secured €460m in financing.

Japan’s Sumitomo and its subsidiary Sumitomo Corporation Europe, along with Belgian Parkwind and Dutch Meewind are the joint developers for the project, located in the North Sea, 45km north of the Belgian coast in water depths of approximately 30m.

The project is expected to cost €655m in total, with financing secured to support construction and operations.

European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a loan of €250m for the project, accounting for almost 38% of its costs.

"The project marks the first time a Japanese corporation has joined an offshore wind farm project company in Europe at the early development stage.

The developers expects to complete construction of the offshore wind farm by the end of 2017. It is expected to meet energy requirements of around 186,000 households.

The wind power project will be equipped with 50 large 3.3MW wind turbine generators from MHI Vestas and is expected to be operational for 20 years.

Once developed, the power output from the project will be purchased by a Belgian utility under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Sumitomo said: "The project marks the first time a Japanese corporation has joined an offshore wind farm project company in Europe at the early development stage.

"By leveraging the experience and know-how gained through the project, Sumitomo aims to continue development of offshore wind farms in Europe and contribute to global sustainability."

The Japanese firm has around 39% stake in the project company, comprising of Parkwind and Meewind.

The firm has also invested for two more offshore wind projects, 165MW Belwind and 216MW Northwind, which are both in Belgium.