EnBW nails €500m Baltic 2 loan

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €500m ($663m) loan to the renewable energy unit of German utility EnBW for its Baltic 2 offshore wind project.

EnBW is building the 288MW wind farm with 80 Siemens SWT 3.6-120 turbines 32km north of the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. Baltic 2 is expected to start operations in 2014.

"The commitment of EIB to a project like EnBW Baltic 2 makes a very essential contribution towards the energy transition,” says Thomas Kusterer, chief financial officer at EnBW, referring to Germany’s phase-out of nuclear energy. “Participation of the EIB in such projects represents a decisive element in structuring and financing.”

EnBW is owned by the state and municipalities of Baden-Württemberg – an industrial power house and also the only state with a Green Party state premier.

Before Germany’s energy turnaround in 2010, the company derived more than half of its profit from nuclear power. Since then two of its four nuclear power plants have been switched off, and EnBW is trying hard to boost its renewable power output.

EnBW already operates the 48MW Baltic 1 wind farm and holds licenses for two offshore wind projects in the North Sea.

But in November it put on hold an investment decision over its 500MW Hohe See North Sea project, citing regulatory uncertainty and the lack of a firm grid-connection date.