£1.5billion Galloper wind farm project off Suffolk coast to begin next month

Great Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm off Suffolk, which is close to where the Galloper project will be c

Great Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm off Suffolk, which is close to where the Galloper project will be constructed. - Credit: Archant

The construction of a £1.5billion windfarm off the Suffolk coast is to begin next month after new partners were found to back the project.

The Galloper Offshore Windfarm Project had been left in doubt after energy company Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) last year pulled out of the project that was consented in 2013.

However the remaining partner, RWE Innogy, which halted work following the announcement by SSE, has today announced three new partners for Galloper Wind Farm Ltd – UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital.

The four are now all 25% joint equity partners of the 336 megawatt project, which will be located close to its existing sister project Greater Gabbard.

The project’s go ahead is set to create around 700 jobs during construction and around 90 jobs once operational.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: “This is fantastic news for the region and the whole of the UK, reflecting the fact that we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind.

“This milestone shows how the UK’s offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength.”

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Hans Bunting, CEO of RWE Innogy said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of many months of successful negotiations with our partners and investors and shows that the UK is still a strong market for offshore renewables.

“Siemens, as well as becoming a project partner will also, through their technical division, support key aspects of the project including turbines, turbine installation and maintenance support.

“We welcome GIB, with their experience of supporting renewables ventures and their substantial knowledge of offshore wind financing, back to another offshore partnership, their first ever equity investment being a stake in our Rhyl Flats project.

“Macquarie Capital bring considerable international business and finance acumen as well as a strong track record advising and investing in infrastructure and energy projects globally.

“I look forward to working together to utilise our collective experience and expertise to realise the successful construction of Galloper wind farm.”

As part of the overall partnership agreement, Siemens will supply and install 56, six megawatt turbines for the GWFL project and deliver a 15 year maintenance contract.

Wolfgang Bischoff, head of energy finance EMEA at Siemens Financial Services said: “Again we will work alongside some of the offshore wind industry’s most experienced players on a project that will make a significant contribution to the UK’s renewable energy goals.

“Achieving financial close quickly was an essential component for Galloper to remain on-track in regards to construction as well as becoming operational in time to qualify from the government’s renewable obligation certificate subsidies. The speed in which it was achieved owes much to the hard work of our project partners, as well as the strong market confidence in Siemens’ technical and financial experience in this sector.”

Ed Northam, head of investment banking at GIB, said the deal was a “significant milestone” in the development of the UK offshore wind industry.

Mark Dooley, Head of Infrastructure, Utilities and Renewables, Macquarie Capital Europe said: “This investment demonstrates our commitment to the European offshore wind sector as part of our strategy to invest alongside clients in energy and infrastructure transactions.”

The project will commence operations by March 2018.

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