Siemens Gamesa buys 8.9 GW of Senvion service contracts; Norway to build floating wind farm at oil platform

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Siemens Gamesa expands services portfolio to 69 GW with Senvion deal

Siemens Gamesa has agreed to buy 8.9 GW of service contracts from embattled turbine supplier Senvion as well as the German group's onshore blade manufacturing plant in Portugal, the companies announced October 21.

The 200 million-euro ($222.8 million) deal will expand Siemens Gamesa's operations and maintenance (O&M) portfolio to 69 GW and diversifies the group’s geographical exposure with contracts that offer "long-term visibility and renewal rates that have historically been very high," it said.

The acquisition also strengthens Siemens Gamesa's position in the multi-brand service market, a key battleground for turbine suppliers.

Intense price competition has dented the margins of turbine suppliers and spurred market consolidation.

Senvion entered voluntary insolvency in April following unsuccessful refinancing talks with lenders.

     Top 10 onshore wind turbine suppliers in 2018

                               (Click image to enlarge)

Source: BloombergNEF (BNEF)

The Siemens Gamesa acquisition will secure jobs for over 2,000 Senvion employees, around 60% of the company's workforce, Senvion said.

"For other parts of Senvion, the wind-down process has begun in order to secure socially acceptable solutions for remaining employees and an orderly liquidation of remaining assets," the company said.

Some production jobs will be secured until mid-2020, Senvion said.

"For other assets, including Indian operations and non-European Service operations, explorative talks with potential investors continue," it said.

Norway's Equinor to build Hywind Tampen floating wind project

Equinor and partners have agreed to build the NOK5 billion ($547 million) Hywind Tampen floating wind project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), the world's first floating wind project to supply oil and gas platforms.

Developed by Equinor, Norway's state-owned oil and gas group, the 88 MW project Hywind facility will supply 35% of the power needs of five platforms situated on the Snorre A and B and Gullfaks A, B and C licenses. Located 140 km from shore in water depths of over 260 m, Hywind Tampen is scheduled to come online in late 2022.

In August, Norwegian state fund Enova agreed to fund NOK2.3 billion towards the Hywind Tampen project. Norway's NOX fund will also provide up to NOK 566 million and Equinor and partners in the Gullfaks and Snorre platforms have made a final investment decision, Equinor announced October 11.

"Today, two updated plans for development and operation will be submitted to Norwegian authorities," the company said.

The floating wind turbines will be assembled at the Gulen Industrihamn harbor in western Norway, Equinor said.

Norway is seeking to secure export opportunities in the growing floating wind sector. Steeped in offshore oil and gas expertise, the Scandinavian country is opening up new development zones and supporting first-of-a-kind projects.

Hywind Tampen will help to reduce the costs of future floating offshore wind farms, offering "new industrial opportunities for Norway, the licences and Norwegian supplier industry in a growing global offshore wind market,” Olav-Bernt Haga, Equinor's project director for Hywind Tampen, said in August.

Hywind Tampen follows Equinor's 30 MW Hywind Scotland floating wind project in the UK, the world's first commercial-scale floating wind farm.

Operational since October 2017, Hywind Scotland has collected valuable data on the operation of five 6 MW Siemens direct drive turbines in water depths of 95 to 120 meters.

US federal approvals boost Dominion's offshore wind plan

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued favorable verdicts on two reports for Dominion Energy's 12 MW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project, allowing the project to move forward with offshore construction, Dominion said in a statement October 14.

The CVOW project is the first fully-permitted commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S. and is due online in 2020. Leading global offshore developer Orsted is supporting the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work and Siemens Gamesa is supplying two 6 MW turbines.

The BOEM has reviewed the Facility Design Report (FDR) and Fabrication and Installation Report (FIR) for the project and found no objection, Dominion said. The FDR details the design of all major components while the FIR sets out the fabrication and installation plans.

The CVOW approval process will provide learnings for Dominion Energy's first large-scale commercial offshore wind farm, the company said.

Last month, Dominion filed to the PJM grid operator a proposal to build 2.6 GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2026 off the coast of Virginia.

The filing represents the largest U.S. offshore wind project to date and comes after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed an Executive Order targeting 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including 2.5 GW of offshore wind by 2026.

The mammoth project would be built within Dominion Energy's 112,800-acre lease located 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The project would be built in three phases of 880 MW which would come online in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

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