Dutch civil service pension fund takes 65% stake in German mega wind farm

396MW Merkur project off German coast is now operational

ABP, the €459bn Dutch civil service pension fund, has acquired a 64% stake in a “mega” windfarm 45km (28 miles) off the coast of Germany for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase of the 66-turbine, 396 MW Merkur Offshore in the German North Sea was made on its behalf by its asset management arm APG. The project, whose capital cost was €1.6bn, was recently completed and is now fully operational.

Merkur is one of the largest German offshore wind projects benefitting from a long-term tariff support under the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG).

“Cost effective, reliable power generation for the German market, whilst contributing to CO2 reduction targets of the Paris Climate Accord”

It’s APG’s second investment in the offshore wind sector following its previous investment in Walney 1 in the UK, which is part of the world's largest offshore wind farm. ABP indicated that investments in similar projects cannot be ruled out in the future given that this type of offshore wind farm is expected to play a central role in European energy policy in the coming years.

APG, which manages around €528bn, said Merkur would “provide cost effective, reliable power generation for the German market, whilst contributing to CO2 reduction targets of the Paris Climate Accord.”

ABP said Merkur is 10 to 15 times larger than the average wind farm in the Netherlands. It produces enough renewable energy for the equivalent of 500,000 Dutch households and will save c.18m tonnes of CO2 equivalent over its project life.

Merkur has a 10-year agreement with GE Renewable Energy for the service and maintenance of the turbines. 

The project was bought from a consortium comprising of funds managed and/or advised by private equity firm Partners Group (50%), InfraRed Capital Partners (25%), DEME Concessions (12.5%), GE Energy Financial Services (6.25%) and France’s ADEME (6.25%).

The remaining 36% of the wind farm will be acquired in partnership with funds managed by InfraRed Capital Partners, the $12bn infrastructure firm that’s a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment.

Merkur is one of the largest German Offshore wind projects benefitting from a long term tariff support under the German Renewable Energy Act (“EEG”).

ABP responds to documentary on Vale and mining tailings

Last week, Dutch TV documentary strand Zembla focused on the Vale mine tailings disaster in Brazil and ABP said it responded to questions saying it was extremely dissatisfied with Vale's policies and measures the company has taken so far. 

It added it was studying an improvement plan published by Vale.


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