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Delay over border dispute

German utility EWE says a dispute over the precise location of the German-Dutch maritime border means its 108MW Riffgat project may not be finished until 2014, rather than late 2012 as originally envisaged. In revealing a disappointing set of figures for 2010, including a net loss of €50.7m ($73.1m), chief executive Werner Brinker acknowledged the issues underpinning the dispute have not yet been resolved.

A spokesman confirms that initial generation will not occur until mid-2013, with Riffgat expected to reach completion "by 2014 at the latest".

"To solve this dispute is the task of both states involved - the Netherlands and Germany," the spokesman tells Recharge . "EWE believes that the states will come to an agreement soon."

Riffgat, 15km off the island of Borkum, is by far the closest German North Sea offshore zone to shore.

Several contracts have been signed in relation to the project. Dutch contractors Strukton and Hollandia won a joint bid to build the offshore substation, which will harness 30 Siemens 3.6MW turbines.Grid operator TenneT has awarded a €50m contract to NKT Cables to make and install 50km of 155kV lines for the project. EWE developed Germany's 60MW Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm with E.ON and Vattenfall, and owns a 47.5% share. But it has no further offshore projects and, despite its stated commitment to boosting its green-energy portfolio, it expanded its renewables capacity by only 1.8MW to 107.3MW last year.