Due diligence process for complex wind projects
3E has supported the Financial Close of the Wind aan de Stroom project in Antwerp, consisting of 11 to 15 Siemens SWT 113 3MW wind turbines. As Lender’s (KBC bank) Technical Advisor, 3E has undertaken a detailed technical, contractual and financial review of the project and worked together with the legal (Allen&Overy) and financial advisor (Edelweiss Financial Advisors) to identify and mitigate the technical risks for the investment. 3E was also on the frontline during turbine negotiation with Siemens and supported the technical and commercial discussions with the German wind turbine manufacturer, for which it is the first project in Belgium.
Régis Decoret, Head of Wind at 3E, said: “the complexity of the project presented a number of technical and contractual risks we had to mitigate, and a large part of the 3E’s wind team was involved in this Due Diligence process. The possibility of ordering additional turbines after Financial Close, the intense port activities (Antwerp is the second largest European port) and the complex technical and contractual issues over grid connection in the Port of Antwerp in particular, are not common features we see in many other projects, and they have potential to seriously affect the overall project planning for completion and technical viability of the project. Assessing the wind resource in a complex industrial environment, with cooling towers up to 70m, waste storage areas up to 50m height and no met mast was a bit of a challenge too, but we could use SCADA data from the neighboring turbines in the project area to calibrate our wind flow model.
Giovanni Vercammen, CEO of Wind aan de Stroom, said: ” We much appreciated the professional approach of 3E with short and fast feedback communication lines. Their large expertise and constructive cooperation helped us to finalize our contracts with Siemens Wind and to get our project finance with KBC bank closed in due time. We continue to rely on 3E as a companion during the construction monitoring and execution of the works along the way.“
The construction is now underway and commercial operation is scheduled for October 2015. As part of its Lender’s Technical Advisor role, 3E keeps on working on this project, and is now monitoring the works to deliver a monthly report to the stakeholders with information on construction progress, budget overview and quality control, with a Duty of Care to KBC and Wind aan de Stroom.