A leading player in European offshore wind, Deme Group, achieved growth in both revenue and EBITDA last year, but saw net profit fall. Deme's offshore wind contracting business, GeoSea, achieved "very significant growth."
Group revenue totalled €1.9bn in 2012, representing an 8.4% increase, while EBITDA rose 17.0%, to €351m. Deme’s bottom line declined, with net profit down 14.4%, to €89m.
A substantial number of Deme Group companies are active in offshore wind, making it difficult to judge the full extent of the group’s revenue from the sector. Late last year, Deme told Windpower Offshore that the sector accounted for about 10-15% of its turnover.
Deme’s biggest offshore wind brand is its GeoSea contracting business. GeoSea’s 2012 highlights included installation work at Borkum West 2, Northwind and Thornton Bank and geotechnical surveying at Saint Brieuc, Humber Gateway and Rentel.
Two new jack-up vessels began work for GeoSea during 2012, Nepture and Innovation (the latter co-owned with Hochtief Solutions), and both were "fully occupied". Two smaller vessels, Aquata and Arista, were brought into service by Deme’s offshore wind operations and maintenance company, Offshore Wind Assistance (OWA).
High wind installation
Deme is working on a new approach to offshore turbine installation; last year GeoSea and three partners established a company, High Wind, which is developing an "installation tool for high-wind conditions". This will allow on-board turbine assembly using "weather-independent" vessels.
GeoSea’s partners in the High Wind initiative are: Belgian steel fabrication firm G&G International, engineering consultancy SBE and Flemish investment firm PMV. The latter has invested €18.7m in High Wind via an equity stake and a deferred loan.
Meanwhile, another of Deme’s offshore wind technology projects made good progress last year. Developed in partnership with 3E, the Flidar floating lidar began a six-month test at Gwynt y Môr. Early this year, Dong Energy became the second developer, after RWE, to announce it would test Flidar.
Deme Group is also an offshore wind owner, via its Power@Sea brand. Power@Sea is a member of consortia that own development rights to three planned Belgian offshore wind farms with a combined capacity exceeding 900MW: Rentel, SeaStar and Mermaid. Deme Group is also a shareholder in the C-Power consortium that owns 325.5MW Thornton Bank, which will be fully commissioned this year.
Further afield, Power@Sea has been awarded the right to develop an offshore wind farm off the Polish port of Gdansk. Known as the C-Wind concession, the wind farm’s capacity will be at least 200MW.