Repower takes Thornton Bank contract as part of biggest offshore finance deal

BELGIUM: German manufacturer REpower has been confirmed as the turbine supplier to the second and third phases of the Belgian Thornton Bank offshore wind farm.

Repower's 6.15MW turbine will be used on the project
Repower's 6.15MW turbine will be used on the project
The contract was awarded as development company C-Power closed the world’s biggest project finance deal for an offshore wind project.

Total investment in the project – including refinancing of the first 30 MW phase – will amount to some €1.3 billion. Seven commercial banks are providing around €900 million in loans, with a contribution from the European Investment Bank and an export credit guarantee from the German government.

C-Power is a consortium of four Belgian investors, plus RWE Innogy and EDF Energies Nouvelles. The wind farm is to be built 28 km offshore in a depth of 27 metres.

REpower, part of the Suzlon group, will supply 48 turbines totalling 295 MW. The 6.15 MW machines will be the largest offshore turbines to be installed anywhere in the world.

Six 5 MW REpower turbines have been operating at the first phase of Thornton Bank since 2009, achieving a 97% availability rate in the second half-year of operation.

REpower will install 24 turbines under phase 2 in spring 2012, with the remaining 24 to be installed by mid 2013 in phase 3.

Filip Martens, CEO of C-Power, says, "This financial close is a demonstration of the trust that shareholders, contracting parties and the finance community are giving on a well-structured project, setting a good reference for the many more offshore wind farms to be financed in the near future."

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