Offshore Capital

Winds of Change

The fresh breeze of private equity blowing. Source: obs
The fresh breeze of private equity blowing.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The private equity firm wants to use the experience gained from Meerwind Südost for further projects off Germany’s coast.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Blackstone and seven commercial banks financed Meerwind Südost with €1.3 billion.
    • The offshore wind park business in Germany has faced challenges in the past, but is picking up.
    • Some investors are showing more interest as costs come down.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Meerwind Südost is one of Germany’s most ambitious offshore wind parks. Eighty giant wind turbines, anchored in the North Sea some 23 kilometers north of Heligoland island, will be able to provide up to 360,000 households with electricity.

On Monday, Sean Klimczak from the U.S. investor Blackstone and his partners, officially dedicated the new wind park.

“Meerwind is the first large offshore park in the German North Sea built in a timely manner and on budget,” said Sean Klimczak, managing director of Blackstone, at a dedication ceremony. “We are seeing more and more investment in offshore wind parks.”

Meerwind is the first large-scale German offshore project to be financed solely with private capital. Blackstone and seven commercial banks invested €1.3 billion ($1.62 billion). Germany’s KfW state development bank and the Danish Export Credit Agency EKF provided additional funding.

For Mr. Klimczak, the Meerwind project is just the beginning. “We want to invest in further German offshore wind parks,” he said. “We are currently talking about several projects.”

Mr. Klimczak expects a decision to be made within the next 18 months.

One of these projects is the Nördlicher Grund wind park off of the North Sea island of Sylt. But Blackstone still lacks approval to connect the wind park to the power grid.

“We will build the wind park Nördlicher Grund as soon as we have approval,” Mr. Klimczak said.

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