Antwerp Port Authority approves 90 MW wind farm

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The Antwerp Port authority has finalised an agreement with Dutch utility Nuon and Belgian project developer Vleemo to build a 36 turbine, 90 MW wind farm within the precincts of the Belgian port. The agreement is the second phase of a deal for the development of an 8000 hectare site on the right bank of the Antwerp port. Earlier this year the port authorities gave the Belgian Dutch joint venture the go-ahead to build two 2 MW turbines, due for completion this year (Windpower Monthly, April 2003). The additional 34 turbines are to go into production by end 2006 and at 90 MW will more than triple the existing installed wind capacity in Flanders, meeting the needs of some 65,000 Flemish households. "This is a significant step towards realising our ambition of achieving a fourfold increase of renewable energy production in Europe over the next few years, and it is the first project of our Belgian division," says Nuon's David Uitdenbogaard. Ownership of a Flemish wind farm will also give Nuon access to Flanders new green electricity market without incurring the transport costs levied on foreign green power producers. As yet, planning and environmental applications for the 34 turbines have not been obtained, although Uitdenbogaard is confident this will not prove an obstacle. Responsibility for the design, construction and management of the farm lies with Vleemo, or the Vlaamse Ecologie Energie and Milieu Onderneming. Vleemo is 50% owned by Nuon with the remaining share held by two private investors: Ben Simons, chairman of Antwerp construction concern Brebuild, and the Leysen family from Kempen. Together they will be investing some EUR 100 million, with the land lease netting the port authorities some EUR 18 million over the next 20 years.

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