PFI – Offshore deals tests banks as wind drops

* Two deals currently in the finance market

* Sponsors seek to transfer construction risk

* UK wind speeds at 180 year low

By Rod Morrison and Azadeh Sharafshahi

LONDON (Project Finance International) – Two projects in the
embryonic but fast growing offshore wind sector are currently
seeking debt finance. The sponsors, large European utilities,
want to transfer construction risk on the deals to the banks to
keep the financings off their balance sheets. A further test for
the financiers is the fact UK wind speeds have been at 180 year
record lows this year – raising concerns about the reliability
of wind as an energy source.

C-Power – in which RWE (RWEG.DE: ) and EDF (EDF.PA: ) are
involved – has put together a second 950m euros financing on its
325MW Thornton Bank scheme off Belgium while Centrica (CNA.L: ),
DONG [DONG.UL] and Siemens (SIEGn.DE: ) are out to banks on their
new 270MW