Northwind orders turbines for Belgian offshore wind farm

The developers behind the 216 MW Northwind offshore wind farm in Belgium have placed orders with Vestas for the project’s turbines

Northwind NV, a joint venture between the Colruyt Group and Aspiravi Offshore, has ordered 72 of VestasV112 3MW turbines, along with a 15 year maintenance agreement.

The project, planned for the Bank Zonder Naam off the coast of Zeebrugge in Belgium, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2014.

Northwind NV is headed up by Frank Coenen, who was behind the construction of the Belwind Bligh Bank 1 offshore wind farm, which also used Vestas turbines.

“We have had a very fruitful relationship with Vestas over the years and we fully recognise their experience in the field of offshore wind,” said Coenen, Northwind’s chief executive. “I am therefore very pleased to now be taking our partnership to the next level by having a signed agreement in place with Vestas for the Northwind offshore wind farm.”
He added: “I hope to be taking the many lessons learned from the Belwind Bligh Bank project and actively putting these to good use when constructing this new offshore wind farm together.”

Vestas has been working to cement its position in the highly competitive offshore wind turbine market. Juan Araluce, chief sales officer, at Vestas Wind Systems, said. “This is a very important milestone for Vestas, as we look to strengthen our position within offshore. We are truly committed to the development of offshore wind energy and we are extremely proud to receive another strong customer commitment to our V112 platform technology.”

The order comes as Northwind secured €333 million in funding for the Zeebrugge project from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

After Belwind and C-Power, Northwind is the third non-recourse EIB loan in the Belgian offshore wind sector, amounting to more than €1 billion in support of Belgium’s renewables sector.

Pim Van Ballekom, European Investment Bank vice-president, said: “The EIB is pleased to play a part in these challenging projects contributing to climate action and to economic growth. By financing the Northwind project, the EIB is again demonstrating its capacity and support to mature offshore wind projects that are ready for immediate implementation.”

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