Coal, Gas, Wind

Consortium applies for concession to CREG for North Sea’s largest wind farm project

24 October 2008 – The consortium Northwester, consisting of Econcern’s operating company Evelop together with Blue H TTR (consisting of Transcor Astra Group – a subsidiary of NPM/CNP -, TPF Group, Wagram Invest and Blue H Technologies) has applied for a public property concession license for the largest offshore wind farm project in the North Sea.

The 600 MW project is located in the furthest available zone lying north of Bligh Bank and reaches depths ranging from 30 to 45 metres. The consortium will depend upon the technological experience of Econcern and Blue H Technologies. Econcern is currently developing the largest number of offshore wind farms in Europe.

The company with its mission ‘a sustainable energy supply for everyone’ has proven its expertise by developing, constructing and operating projects such as the Offshore Wind Farm ‘Prinses Amalia Windpark’ of 60 turbines, located 20 km off the Dutch coast with a capacity of 120 MW and Belwind, located right next to the proposed Northwester site. Initial construction for Belwind is planned in 2009.

Blue H Technologies has developed the innovative technology for floating wind turbines. This development is ground breaking in the field and is well ahead of the competition. Its floating platforms for wind turbines have been adapted from the deepwater platform technology that has emerged from the oil and gas drilling industry over the last 25 years.

The consortium is planning to use this innovative technology in the deepest areas of the site, which is roughly 60 per cent of the zone. A floating wind turbine costs less than a conventional fixed installation in terms of both initial investment and operating costs.

For a conventional offshore turbine, the actual foundation work currently makes up for half the total cost. So this commitment to use innovative technology will mean that the deep seas can be opened up for generating electricity commercially.

Frank Coenen, managing director of Evelop Belgium NV, commented that “the construction of the first wind turbines could begin as early as 2013. Our team of strong partners would ensure the project’s long-term success.”

Michel Helbig de Balzac, Chairman of Northwester, added that “the high-tech expertise of Evelop and Blue H is going to further boost state-of-the art technology in Belgium.”