On 14 May 2014, a large international banking syndicate including ABN AMRO completed funding arrangements for the Netherlands’ largest-ever offshore wind farm, the Gemini Project.
The Gemini North Sea wind farm will be built some 60 kilometres north of the Wadden Sea island Schiermonnikoog. The 600 megawatt farm should be operational by 2017 and will provide green electricity to over 785,000 households. Its significant distance from the coast means it will not be visible to the eye and so not be a ‘blot on the horizon’ for the islanders.
The owners of the wind farm are Northland Power Inc. (60%), Siemens Financial Services GmbH (20%), Van Oord Dredging & Marine Contractors B.V. (10%) and utility company N.V. HVC (10%). Pieter van Oord commented: “The Gemini Project is a seminal step in meeting the Dutch Energy Agreement, and banks have a vital role to play in achieving the stated goal of generating close to 4,500 megawatts of energy via sea-based wind farms.”
Financing for the Gemini Project is the biggest project finance ever arranged in the wind industry, and ABN AMRO is proud to contribute to the transaction as mandated lead arranger, account bank and LC issuing bank. Joop Wijn, member of the ABN AMRO Managing Board, observed: “A sustainable initiative of this size only stands a chance through collaboration – we’re looking at the economic model of the future.” By financing the Gemini Project, ABN AMRO is helping its clients Van Oord and HVC meet their strategic objectives, while at the same time making a key contribution to the country’s Energy Agreement goals.