”Meerwind”, as the offshore wind farm is called, will be built in the North Sea north west of Heligoland. With a total capacity of 288 MW the farm will produce enough electricity to service 400,000 German households and eliminate what corresponds to one million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually once the farm has been completed in 2013. The 80 3.6 MW wind turbines delivered by Siemens will be produced at Siemens’ factory in the Danish town of Brande.
One of the world’s leading investment funds, Blackstone, will provide the equity for the wind farm while a consortia of banks including Commerzbank, KfW IPEX-Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Dexia, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, Siemens Bank and KfW will provide debt financing worth more than DKK 6 billion. The parties, however, were not willing to take on the entire risk themselves so EKF’s involvement in the project made the financing solution fall into place and secured Siemens Wind Power the billion-kroner order.
The financing of Meerwind underlines EKF’s significant role in the financing of international offshore wind energy projects. Project financing of offshore wind farms is still a virgin market and is considered especially high risk by most financial players. Project finance
is a special form of financing where the risk involved for lenders and guarantors primarily is whether the project is realisable and can generate enough cash flow to service the loan.
Only a few project financed offshore wind farms in the world have been built and financed without the involvement of EKF. Apart from Meerwind EKF was involved in the project financing of the off shore wind farms Prinses Amaliawindpark (prev. Q7) in the Netherlands (2006), Belwind
in Belgium (2009) and C-Power in Belgium (2010).