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EIB lends EUR 450m for offshore wind farm

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image Butendiek wind farm

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 450m for the Butendiek wind farm, which will be one of the biggest offshore wind projects so far in the German part of the North Sea.

With 80 turbines, it will have a total generating capacity of 288 MW. This ambitious project will cost a total of EUR 1.4bn.

Butendiek will be built 53 km off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein and 32 km to the west of the island of Sylt. Construction work is due to commence in the first half of 2014 and will last until the middle of 2015. The operator is WPD Group, which has specialised in renewable energy, particularly wind energy projects.

Apart from the EIB, the Danish government export credit agency Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF), KfW and nine commercial banks will also be involved in financing the wind farm. As the lead manager, KfW IPEX Bank is arranging the finance in conjunction with Bremer Landesbank and Unicredit. The loans will total around EUR 940m. The remaining funds will come from a consortium of investors consisting of Industriens Pension, Marguerite, PKA, Siemens Project Ventures and WPD.

The EIB is one of the biggest financiers of renewable energy in Europe and has so far provided loans totalling EUR 3.8bn for the offshore wind energy sector alone. For projects of this size it is the long maturities and favourable terms offered by the Bank that operators find attractive.

“It is due to the strong commitment shown by the various groups of investors that Butendiek is now able to get off the ground. And the EIB loan will make an important contribution to this. The financing of renewable energy, particularly offshore wind energy projects, is and will continue to be a key part of the EIB’s work, as it is all about meeting Europe’s ambitious environmental targets. Here, Butendiek will have a crucial part to play,” said Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for lending operations in Germany.

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