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07 December 2010

Mott MacDonald celebrates financial close for Thornton Bank wind farm

Mott MacDonald’s role as lenders’ engineer on the first Belgian offshore wind farm reached an important stage last month as financial close for the second and third phases of the project was achieved on 25 November 2010.

The 325MW Thornton Bank wind farm, situated approximately 30km in the North Sea off the Belgian coast, is to be financed by a group of seven commercial lenders, two export credit agencies and the European Investment Bank. Between them, they will provide long term facilities totalling €869 million. When the three-phase project is completed, the 325MW farm will generate 1000GW hours of electricity per year which should provide enough electricity for around 600,000 people. It will also offset around 450,000 tons of carbon emissions per annum.

The second and third phases will consist of the installation of 48 REpower 6 megawatt wind turbines on jacket foundations, the laying of infield cables and a second 150KV export cable, as well as the installation of an offshore high voltage substation.

Mott MacDonald, in its role as lender’s engineer, carried out a comprehensive review of the project’s participants, design (including energy yield), contractual arrangements, construction and operational methodology, environmental assessment and key technical inputs to the financial model. The aim was to identify key risks, assess mitigation measures addressing these risks and advise the lenders accordingly.

Christos Kolliatsas, Mott MacDonald’s project manager said, “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in this prestigious project. Mott MacDonald is one of the world’s leading energy consultants and it’s great to demonstrate our expertise in this field. We are the only consultancy to have supported the Lenders for all four non-recourse financed offshore wind farms before construction worldwide which is a further testament of our skills, integrated approach and independence.”


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