WPD achieves financial close on Butendiek

Full commissioning scheduled for June 2015 for €1.3bn project

Equity and debt financing totalling €1.3bn has been agreed for the 288MW Butendiek offshore wind farm, developer WPD Offshore announced today. Offshore installation will begin next spring, with full commissioning scheduled for June 2015.

Ownership of Butendiek is now shared between five organisations: WPD Offshore (10%), green energy investment fund, the Marguerite Fund (22.5%), Siemens Financial Services (22.5%) and two Danish pension funds, Industriens Pensionsforsikring (22.5%) and Pensionskassernes Administration (22.5%).

The deal fulfils WPD Offshore’s ambition to retain a minority stake in the German project, rather than sell all rights as it did with Baltic 1 and 2. The company also holds equity in two offshore wind farms planned for French waters, which it is developing in partnership with EDF and Dong Energy.

More than €850m in debt financing will fund Butendiek’s construction and initial operation. It is being provided by a syndicate of commercial banks led by KfW IPEX-Bank, UniCredit and Bremer Landesbank with additional support from development banks EIB, EKF and KfW Förderbank.

Announcing the deal, WPD said it will oversee project construction but also technical and commercial management during the wind farm’s operational phase.

"With its favourable site conditions including wind resources, water depth and distance to coast, Butendiek is one of the most attractive offshore wind projects in the German North Sea and it will now be implemented with a strong international group of investors under the leadership of one of Germany’s most experienced teams", commented WPD Offshore's managing director Achim Berge.

WPD Offshore has a project pipeline of 18 wind farms with a combined capacity of 10GW. Its Swedish and Finnish projects are stalled due to poor financial incentives. Its onshore sister company’s activities include project development in Taiwan.

Installation of Butendiek’s foundations will be undertaken by Ballast Nedam, while installation of inter-array cables will be the responsibility of Visser Smit. The project’s offshore substation, to be built by Fabricom/GDF Suez, will be powered by 80 Siemens 3.6MW turbines. First power is expected in autumn 2014.

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