After almost three years of developing the project, now the way is cleared for the construction of the Trianel Wind Farm Borkum (TWB). At the TWB general meeting, the 34 shareholders from Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland agreed on the construction resolution regardingthe first construction phase of the offshore wind farm; the corresponding financing agreements have now been signed in Frankfurt. Covering an area 56 km2, the wind farm is situated about 45 km off the northern coast of the island of Borkum and directly adjacent to Alpha Ventus, Germany's first offshore wind farm.

Trianel Borkum West II is the biggest wind-energy project in the German North Sea and the first wholly municipal offshore wind farm in Europe financed through a project financing.  The project comprises the planning, construction and operation of the wind farm, and will be financed through project finance facilities in total of € 550.5 million. Eleven banks are involved in the financing: UniCredit Bank AG is acting as Coordination Bank and Bookrunner of the bank club comprising Dexia, Crédit Local, KFW IPEX-Bank and Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank) – all of whom are acting as Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers – as well as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and NRW.Bank. ASN Bank, Deutsche Bank, Helaba, NIBC Bank N.V. and SEB AG are also contributing towards the financing.  The financing comprises loans of €470 million, which are being made available by the development banks European Investment Bank and NRW.Bank. Rabobank arranged the letter of credits requested under the permits of the project, KFW IPEX-Bank acted as insurance and technical bank and arranger of the VAT facility. Dexia provides various projects LCs and acted as modelling bank. UniCredit Bank AG also acted as facility and security agent, documentation bank as well as account bank.

Start of Operation at the turn of the year 2012/2013

"Particularly on the background of the financial crisis, the signing of the financing agreements on which the construction decision is based represents a huge success for the Trianel project developers and the banks involved," says Dietmar Spohn, deputy chairman of the wind farm general meeting and managing director of Bochum´s municipality utility. The European Commission laid a foundation stone for the financing of the wind farm almost a year ago. It pledged EUR 42.71 million to the pioneering project from the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR).

Starting next summer the works for the foundations (in 30-metre-deep waters) of the first 40 Areva Wind M5000 turbines will be commenced off Borkum . Once completed, the turbines will generate a total output of 200MW, enough to provide some 200,000 households with green electricity. The almost 150-metre-high wind turbines will go into trial operation one year later, with regular grid operations set to commence in late 2012 / early 2013. There are plans to build a further 40 turbines in a second construction phase. Over €700 million has been invested in the first construction phase alone.

There are no further obstacles identified which would prevent the wind park being completed on schedule. "The implementation of this highly complex project is a milestone not only for the municipal utility companies involved but also Trianel has also risen successfully to the challenge," said Sven Becker, chairman of the shareholders' meeting and managing director of Trianel. The independent project development enabled Trianel to acquire the necessary know-how to complete the second phase and set up a further 40 wind turbines at sea without delay. Mr Becker goes on, "Moreover, our offshore wind farm off the island of Borkum represents a clear commitment to the climate policy objectives of the German government, which we, as a municipal utility company, aim to put into practice."

In order to avoid adverse weather conditions, the procedures for the set-up of the tripods are being postponed until summer 2011. These are to be "pinned down" to the sea bed by means of steel tubes (piles); concrete will be used to connect the piles and tripods. A similar construction method is being employed to build the 400 megawatt substation at sea that will serve the entire Trianel Wind Farm Borkum West II. All work will be done using construction ships, with the components being delivered to the site by cargo barge. The wind turbines themselves will be assembled on land at Eemshaven, just south of Borkum, brought by barge to the construction site and erected at sea with the aid of cranes. Work on the second construction phase comprising another 40 wind turbines is set to start immediately after the completion of phase 1.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s long-term financing institution. Its activities follow policies and objectives set down by European Union member states.

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