Nordwest Assekuranzmakler places insurance package for the offshore wind farm Nordergründe

Insurance specialist provides key building block

Nordwest Assekuranzmakler GmbH & Co. KG (NWA) has developed the insurance concept for the offshore project Nordergründe and successfully placed it on the market. The insurance specialist is thus providing a key building block for financing the project, which will cost 410 million euros.

The Nordergründe wind farm, which is located 15 kilometres north-east of the island Wangerooge, is owned by wpd from Bremen. The project development company will begin installing the 18 wind turbines from the manufacturer Senvion SE in the German North Sea in March 2016. Each of the turbines has a rated power output of 6.2 MW. The financing for the project has now been finalised together with the participating banks. Insurance coverage for the risks during construction as well as operation of the wind farm plays a key role and is a mandatory requirement for the financing commitment by the banks.

"NWA's deep understanding of the risks as well as the requirements of investors, banks and our contractor has been very helpful. The insurance coverage, which the consultants of the banks praised as being 'excellent', has made the financing process very smooth," said Achim Berge Olsen, managing director of wpd offshore GmbH.

"NWA provided advice on all insurance issues during the negotiations of the supply and service contracts, and their high level of personal commitment meant that they were available to us at all times," said Alexander Klemt, project manager for the Nordergründe OWP.

Nordergründe is a further important project for NWA. The specialist company has acquired considerable expertise in dealing with complex industrial risks and provides insurance broking and advisory services for a total of 12,000 megawatts of wind power capacity on- and offshore. To date, NWA has developed the insurance coverage for more than 40 per cent of all offshore wind farms in the North Sea, making it the market leader in Germany. This is equivalent to an insured investment volume of more than ten billion euros, including insured business interruption. The average capital expenditure and resulting sum insured is approximately 1.5 billion euros for an offshore wind farm. Financing for such projects always depends on the individual risk situation as well as the corresponding insurance coverage. "Due to the large investments and the risks during construction and operation, it can take several years before a comprehensive tailor-made insurance solution is finalised. We conduct a lot of negotiations with the companies and contractors involved in the project as well as with the insurance market to make managing these risks viable, transparent and to distribute them in a cost-optimised way. Finally, the premiums for insurance coverage must be appropriate and affordable," NWA's managing director Ralf Tabbert said. This intense advice and the evaluation/management of interfaces lead to success in the end. As a broker, NWA places its widely-approved solutions on the international insurance market, and they are oversubscribed regularly.

The risks include but are not limited to weather-related damages, faulty material, bad workmanship as well as damages that may occur at sea during transport and offshore-installation of components destined to become part of the completed project. Especially the delay of the scheduled date of commencement of commercial operations of the wind farms due to loss of or damage to the substation or the inter-array cables is particularly sensitive because it means that operators will have to bear a shortfall in expected revenues that they are entitled to receive under the Renewable Energy Act. Because so far there has been no general contractor (EPCI) for the construction of the multi-billion euro offshore wind power farms, various manufacturers, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers are involved in the individual projects. Therefore the number of interfaces and associated risks is correspondingly high. "This applies to the question of whether subcontractors even have the necessary insurance coverage. For this reason, we make sure that there is seam and gapless coverage for all construction phases of a wind farm project, and we offer solutions to the companies involved that are specifically tailored to their risks. This fact as well as our expertise is now also generating considerable interest beyond Europe's borders. We are even receiving inquiries from Asian countries," said Thomas Haukje, managing partner of NWA.

Nordwest Assekuranzmakler GmbH & Co. KG

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