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Denmark

Denmark

Europe: Offshore leader muscles up - Dong buys A2SEA

Denmark's state power company Dong Energy last month took a step closer to becoming a vertical monopoly in the offshore wind sector with the purchase of four wind turbine installation vessels from independent company A2SEA, considerably strengthening its position as the largest offshore wind generator.

Dong paid EUR174 million for A2SEA, including debt of EUR80 million. A2SEA was founded in 2000 and has led the field in offshore installation vessels, which have installed more than 500 turbines.

Dong Energy has also bought an oil platform from Danish Semco Maritime, an international offshore industry services company based in Esbjerg, reportedly to serve as an on-site base for offshore wind farm construction staff. Dong declines to say what it paid for the platform. Dong also owns Danish MBD Offshore in Aalborg, a company developing new types of offshore wind turbine foundations.

Earlier this year Dong announced a master agreement with Siemens Wind Power for the purchase of 500 of the company's 3.6 MW turbines, primarily for offshore use. The 1800 MW order not only saved Dong up to EUR670 million, or 25% of the market price of the turbines, but also gave it influence over the production process. Half of the master agreement has been activated.

Dong today operates about half the offshore wind capacity so far installed in Europe, including 325 MW in two major projects in Denmark, and the 45 MW Barrow wind plant and 90 MW at Burbo Bank off the north-west coast of England. It is currently completing installation of a 209 MW extension to Horns Rev in the Danish North Sea. A further 1500 MW is on the way in British waters, including the two-part 174 MW Gunfleet Sands plant off the English east coast, now in construction; London Array at 1 GW when fully built-out; and the two-part 367 MW Walney project. Further wind development activity is ongoing on land and offshore in Denmark, the UK, Poland, France, Sweden and Norway.

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