The bulk of financing for one of the most costly ever wind farms in the German North Sea has now been secured. A consortium of commercial banks and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed the finance contract for the Global Tech I project in Hamburg today. The external borrowing requirement is around EUR 1 billion and the EIB’s contribution amounts to EUR 500 million.
Global Tech I will be built in an area of 41 square kilometres around 180 km north-west of Bremerhaven and 138 km north-west of Emden, outside protected marine areas in Germany’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Its 80 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 400 MW are expected to generate around 1.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough to supply 445 000 households with environmentally friendly power. Global Tech I will be connected to the national grid in 2012 and fully completed in 2013.
The special purpose vehicle Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH (GT I) is responsible for building and operating the project. Its shareholders are the two energy supply companies Stadtwerke München GmbH and HSE AG (Darmstadt), the European power utility EGL AG, Esportes Offshore Beteiligungs GmbH, the two project development companies Norderland Projekt GmbH and Windreich AG, and the two companies in the Windreich Group – FC Windenergy GmbH and GTU I GmbH.
Sixteen commercial banks are involved in financing the project alongside the EIB.
The inclusion of KfW’s new lending programme for project finance in the offshore wind sector is also envisaged for a substantial part of the financing.
In the words of EIB Vice-President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen: “The offshore wind sector will play a crucial role in future power generation in Germany and Europe. Global Tech I is one of Germany’s most ambitious projects ever and today’s contract will ensure that this major investment goes ahead. This is also an important step forward in determining the ability to finance the fundamental shift in Germany’s energy policy.”
Since end-2006 the EIB has markedly stepped up its involvement in the renewable energies sector, increasing its lending for renewables projects from EUR 400 million in 2006 to EUR 5.6 billion in 2010.