STX Finland, Meriaura and Hafmex launch cooperation to reduce costs of offshore windparks

Achieving the Finnish windpower target by 2020 (6 TWh, approx. 2500 MW installed capacity) requires the implementation of several major offshore windparks.

Lelystad, 7. September 2011. The recently approved production tariff is not sufficient for implementation of offshore windparks at the present cost level, and thus costs need to be reduced. Together with their customers, STX Finland, Meriaura and Hafmex have launched a ‘design-to-cost’ project, that seeks to significantly reduce the lifecycle costs of offshore windparks.

Demand for electricity is expected to grow in the coming years, at same time that prices are expected to increase. After Italy, Finland is the second largest net importer of electricity within the EU, which places a burden on national economy and makes us dependent on external sources of electricity. Yet Finland has excellent wind conditions, and utilizing windpower in a larger scale would help our energybalance considerably. The current wind tariff already makes it economically viable to develop onshore windparks. However, to get sufficient wind power, large offshore windparks are also needed. The cost of these is still too high, so costs must be reduced considerably, preliminary estimations indicate up to 20-30% reductions.

STX Finland, Meriaura and Hafmex have recently signed a cooperation agreement by which the companies form a consortium to develop a cost-efficient overall solution for Finnish offshore windparks. Through a ‘design-to-cost’ project the consortium seeks to reduce offshore windpark costs significantly. The project examines the whole life-cycle of offshore windparks from design, engineering and measurements to building, operations and maintenance, including also potential wind turbine refurbishment and decomissioning. Energy companies and IPPs developing offshore wind parks and wind turbine manufacturers are also involved in the project. Early results indicate that offshore windparks may be possible in the northern Baltic Sea more cost-effectively than previously thought.

"The implementation and lifecycle management of offshore windparks in a cost-efficient manner is a very challenging task. The experiences gained in the North Sea show that success requires novel thinking and close cooperation throughout the whole process chain. This is something we want to drive here in the Baltic Sea, which has quite unique conditions. It has been great to see how various companies have brought their own expertise into the joint project. Solving this is important for all of us,” says Per Stenius, SVP Corporate Development of STX Finland Oy and head of wind power operations. He continues: “STX Finland’s shipyards and expertise in offshore and ice engineering combined with Meriaura’s special vessels and logistics know-how and Hafmex’s expertise in operations and maintenance create a solid foundation for the development work. In addition, energy companies and IPPs developing offshore windparks have brought their perspectives into the project. By looking at the big picture and the overall process, we are able to bring new solutions to the problem."

“For quite some time, Meriaura has been involved in maritime environmental technology projects. Our multipurpose vessel Aura 1 has been collecting valuable experience from North Sea wind parks. Through this cooperation, we will be able to influence the development of implementation processes of offshore windparks at an early stage and contribute our experience to the process in the best possible manner,” says Jussi Mälkiä, CEO of Meriaura. Urpo Hauvonen, CEO of Hafmex Engineering Ltd. adds: “Every company engaged in this effort has a strong intent to develop the Finnish energy cluster in a more environmentally friendly direction and to leverage the engineering expertise found in Finland. Hafmex Engineering has been a pioneer in engineering, erection, and operations and maintenance of windparks, and our experience in operating, for instance, the Via Wind Högsåra windpark brings a practical view to this work. Open dialogue and development of new ideas have helped us make quick progress."

For further information, please contact:
Per Stenius, SVP Corporate Development of STX Finland Oy, Tel: +358 (0)40 5330793,
E-mail: per.stenius@stxeurope.com.
Jussi Mälkiä, CEO, Meriaura Ltd., Tel: +358 (0)400 785489,
Urpo Hauvonen, CEO, Hafmex Engineering Ltd., Tel: +358 (0)50 3000831, E-mail:urpo.hauvonen@hafmex.fi.

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STX Finland Oy has three shipyards in Finland, Turku shipyard, Rauma shipyard and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy, of which STX Finland Oy owns 50%. STX Finland’s subsidiaries include Aker Arctic Technology Oy and STX Cabins Oy, among others. The company belongs to the STX Europe Group, an international shipbuilding group with a product range including passenger ships, ferries, offshore services vessels and specialized vessels. STX Europe has approximately 15,000 employees.

STX Europe's principal shareholder, the Korean based international industrial group STX Business Group, has approximately 58,000 employees and aims to be a global top player in its core areas; shipping and trade, shipbuilding and machineries, plant and construction, and energy.

Meriaura Oy is a company established in 1986, specialising in demanding project cargo and transporting industrial bulk and raw materials for its customers on the Baltic Sea and in Europe. Today, the shipping company’s fleet comprises fourteen ice-strengthened dry cargo ships. The basic values of the company include customer-orientation and excellent service. Cost-efficiency, high technical quality and respect of environmental values guarantee that the company has competitive products to offer.

Hafmex Engineering Oy focuses on wind turbine generator service, operations and maintenance. The company also sells and rents wind measurement equipment. Hafmex Engineering Oy and Hafmex Wind Oy belong to the Hafmex Group, working together in project delivery of wind parks from concept design, procurement and operations and maintenance. The company uses the latest, reliable and cost efficient technology, thereby enhancing its customers productivity. Hafmex Group is co-owner of the Hägsåra windpark, which was deployed in 2007 and uses STX Windpower BV. 2MW windturbines.
STX Windpower B.V.

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