ANNOUNCEMENT 30 Nov 2018
In November 2018, the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a loan agreement with Belgium Electrabel S.A., Eneco Wind Belgium S.A. and Otary RS to support their construction of the two offshore wind farm projects Mermaid and Seastar located off the coast of Belgium. The loan will be guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
The European Investment Bank, Financed Projects, SEAMADE NV-MERMAID & SEASTAR OFFSHORE WIND FARMS: http://www.eib.org/en/projects/loan/loan/20170917
The European Investment Bank, Project summary, Project No. 20170917, SEAMADE NV-MERMAID & SEASTAR OFFSHORE WIND FARMS: http://www.eib.org/en/projects/pipelines/pipeline/20170917
European Commission (13 January 2015): The Investment Plan for Europe: Questions and Answers: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-3223_en.htm
EIB: European Fund for Strategic Investments - Questions and Answers. Available at: http://www.eib.org/attachments/press/investment_plan_for_europe_qa_en.pdf
The European Investment Bank (EIB) proposed having a total approved value of EUR 500 million (approx. USD 566 million) for two Belgium wind farm projects. Under the approved EIB financing four loan agreements were signed between the EIB and Belgium Electrabel S.A., Eneco Wind Belgium S.A. and Otary RS on 30 November 2018 having a total combined value of EUR 262,467,397.38. The loans are guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), see related intervention.
The loan will support the companies' construction of two wind farms, Mermaid and Seastar, having a maximum generation capacity of 235 MV and 252 MW respectively. Both wind farms are located off the coast of Belgium.
Apart from the European Investment Bank, KfW and the Belgium authorities have both supported the project, see related state acts.
A state act in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the investment support granted here is discriminatory.
The loan agreements signed on 30 November 2018 between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Belgium companies Electrabel S.A., Eneco Wind Belgium S.A. and Otary RS will be guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). The loans have a total combined value of EUR 262,467,397.38 million (approx. USD 301 million). The loan will support the companies' construction of two wind farms off the coast of Belgium.
EFSI support does not fall under EU State Aid rules as it is meant as a tool to address "market failures or sub-optimal investment situations". However, the investment support does include favourable conditions in the form of public assumption of risk.
As described in the European Commission's Fact Sheet from 13 January 2015: "The type of risk-financing instruments will be designed so as to take uncertainty out ("first loss protection") of as such viable projects and therefore crowd-in private sector investments. Since the EFSI will take riskier tranches in investment projects, the private sector will be able to join under more favourable conditions." Furthermore, the EIB states that "The new initiative [i.e. the EFSI] will benefit from the EIB’s strong credit standing that enables funding at favourable conditions and across maturities".