Enbridge acquires 50% stake in French consortium

FRANCE: Canadian energy firm Enbridge has acquired a 50% stake in the Eolien Maritime France (EMF) consortium developing three offshore projects totalling more than 1.4GW.

GE Renewable Energy's 6MW Haliade offshore turbine is set for the three EMF projects
GE Renewable Energy's 6MW Haliade offshore turbine is set for the three EMF projects

Enbridge said it had acquired the stake for an investment of C$282 million (€218 million), which includes past and future pre-final investment decision development costs.

EMF was originally set up by French developer EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) and Danish developer Dong Energy.

The consortium is developing the 498MW Fecamp, the 480MW Saint-Nazaire and the 450MW Courseulles-sur-Mer offshore projects, with construction to begin in 2017, Enbridge said.

Following a positive final investment decision, Enbridge could invest up to C$4.5 billion (€3 billion) in the three projects, it said.

All three projects will use GE Renewable Energy's 6MW Haliade offshore wind turbine.

At Fecamp, the turbines will be supported on gravity-base foundations, while the other projects will feature monopiles.

Enbridge and EDF EN will each hold a 50% stake in the consortium. German wind developer Wpd also has an independent stake of 15% in Courselles-sur-mer and 30% in Fecamp, with EMF making up the rest.

"This is a unique and strategic opportunity for Enbridge to further grow our investment in renewable power and build on our existing presence in European offshore wind generation. This investment in EMF advances our priority to build new business platforms that will extend and diversify growth," said Enbridge CEO Al Monaco.

This is Enbridge's second investment in offshore wind. In November, 2015, it acquired a 24.9% stake in E.on's 400MW Rampion offshore project in the UK for C$750 million. It has an onshore wind portfolio of around 2GW in North America.

As a result of the deal, Dong Energy has ended its involvement in the consortium. "When entering into offshore wind projects, we want to be in the lead of the development, construction and operation. That was not the case in this specific joint venture, but we still consider France an attractive market for offshore wind," a Dong spokesman said.

Dong has no other offshore interests in France at this time.

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