A collective of German municipal utilities known as SudWestStrom has pulled out of the 400 MW Bard Offshore 1 wind project, citing construction delays in its decision.
Managing Director Bettina Morlok said the collective wanted the Bard Group to be on surer footing. In addition they were frustrated by the inability to deploy their capital within a reasonable time frame.
“It was clear to us they were too small, and didn’t have the capital to survive a project like this on their own,” Morlok says.
Hypo¬Vereinsbank — Germany’s sixth-largest private bank, owned by Italy’s UniCredit had come on board as a project financier bringing more confidence to the project however the failure to secure a quick timeframe for investment for SudWestStrom has led to their opt out.
Recharge News reports that SudWestStrom initially believed that it would be able to buy into Bard 1 as early as mid-2011, when it was slated for ¬completion. But as construction dragged on, it was told that it may not be able to buy in until completion, possibly as late as 2014.
Bard 1, which is being built farther from shore and in deeper water than any other existing wind farm, has been riddled with problems and is at least two and a half years behind schedule.
HypoVereinsbank reportedly sank an initial €1bn in debt ¬finance into Bard 1 in 2008, and has had to loosen its purse strings repeatedly to keep the project moving ahead.
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