CIP secures world-class global contractor group for the world’s first energy island project

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a leading global fund manager focused on renewable energy investments, and an industry leader in offshore wind, has signed a partnership agreement with four internationally renowned companies within marine and offshore construction services, to develop the energy island in the Danish North Sea. CIP acts as project developer on behalf of an investor consortium composed of PensionDanmark and PFA, two of Denmark’s largest pension funds, and Denmark’s largest utility company, Andel (collectively known as the “VindØ consortium”).

The signing of this agreement marks a significant step towards realising the world’s first energy island, a project conceptualised by CIP, and a crucial project in unlocking the rapid and unprecedented build-out of global offshore renewable energy to fight climate change.

The four chosen contractors are ACCIONA, Boskalis, DEME and MT Højgaard International, each of which offer a unique set of capabilities and experience. These contractors, together called the “NJORD Group”, display an impressive track record, as well as an extensive pool of best-in-class equipment and skilled staff needed to ensure reliable and timely project development and execution. The NJORD Group will be advised by engineering consultancy NIRAS.

The energy island in the North Sea will be located approximately 80-100 kilometres off the Danish west coast, where conditions for green energy production based on offshore wind are optimal. The island will be able to connect 10 GW of offshore wind to Denmark and other neighbouring markets, host an innovation zone with potential for large-scale energy storage and Power-to-X technologies, and provide accommodation and operation and maintenance services from onsite harbour facilities.

Thorough screening of best-suited contractors

“Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has thoroughly screened the most experienced experts and the world’s best-suited contract partners for the Energy Island project. We are confident that the NJORD Group offers the experience and capabilities needed for a successful project execution in a safe and reliable manner, even in a harsh marine environment far offshore in the Danish North Sea,” says Thomas Dalsgaard, Partner in CIP.

“ACCIONA, Boskalis, DEME and MT Højgaard International display, individually and as a group, extensive and complementary experience and equipment, and have successfully developed and constructed many similar projects around the world. We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with such a strong set of partners”, adds Thomas Dalsgaard.

Key references and operational experience in harsh conditions

A selection of NJORD Group’s projects and relevant operational experiences include a range of innovative construction projects designed to cater for rigorous environmental and regulatory requirements. The reference projects include:

  • Barrow Island Project: An island constructed in a very strictly regulated natural environment offshore Western Australia with logistical challenges from the project’s remoteness and the harsh weather conditions.
  • Tuas Port Expansion Project: A greenfield port expansion project in Singapore with extensive dredging, excavation and land reclamation, including the design, construction, and installation of concrete caissons for quay walls.
  • Viking and Vulcan Decommissioning Project: An offshore decommissioning project in the Dutch part of the North Sea, including removal, transportation and disposal services of the Viking and Vulcan oil platforms.
  • Follo Line and Øresund bridge Projects: Two mega-projects in a Scandinavian setting with the Norwegian Follo Line project, 19.5 kilometres of twin tunnels under construction, and the 7.8 kilometres long Øresundbridgeconnecting Denmark and Sweden.
  • Fehmarnbelt Tunnel: A link between Rødbyhavn on Lolland, Denmark and the German island of Fehmarn to be built as an immersed tunnel.

The VindØ consortium, led by CIP, intends to bid in the tender

The Danish Energy Agency is currently in dialogue with potential bidders for the energy island tender, which is expected to be launched by Q3 2022. CIP intends to bid in the upcoming tender.

Statements from the NJORD Group partners

“CIP and the VindØ consortium’s ground-breaking energy island project in the North Sea provides an excellent opportunity for the contractors of the NJORD Group to make a significant contribution to the green transition by leveraging the full force of our combined power of innovation, expertise and services, supported by world-class equipment and professionals. We are focused on ensuring smooth project execution from the detailed planning phase to the point of project finalisation and full operation”, says Morten Hansen, Group CEO of MT Højgaard Holding, speaking on behalf of the entire group of chosen contractors.

“The North Sea Energy Island project is an outstanding advance in the development of infrastructures that fight against climate change, one of ACCIONA’s main commitments for which it has been working for many years. ACCIONA is a global company recognised worldwide for the development of resilient infrastructures thanks to the technical excellence of our teams and the application of the latest innovation advances in our projects. Our extensive maritime construction experience, alongside the great capacity and local experience of our partners in the NJORD Group, has resulted in a consortium with a great potential that wishes to contribute to the successful execution of this ambitious project in Denmark”, said Huberto Moreno, Construction CEO of ACCIONA.

Peter Berdowski, CEO Royal Boskalis Westminster: “We are excited with the formation of this partnership together with CIP as a leading global developer in the field of renewables. With our unique track record of creating new and climate resilient land development projects, together with our broad range of capabilities in the area of renewables, Boskalis is a logical contractor for the development of this innovative energy island in the Danish section of the North Sea. We look forward to taking the development of renewables further offshore to create a sustainable new horizon for millions of European households.”

“We are proud to join CIP and the VindØ consortium, which gathers a core group of global leaders in maritime engineering solutions for offshore renewable energy production, storage and transmission. DEME Group has been pioneering the concept of energy islands off the coast, and is currently involved in designing, planning and executing similar projects in different parts of the world. We understand the complexity of renewable energy generation and storage on an artificial, multifunctional island at sea, and can rely on a track record of on-time delivery in the harshest marine weather conditions. We are looking forward to making a significant contribution to help advance solving Denmark’s energy transition challenge” says Luc Vandenbulcke, CEO of DEME Group.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is a fund management company focused on energy infrastructure, including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar PV, biomass and energy-from-waste, transmission and distribution, reserve capacity and storage, and other energy assets like Power-to-X. CIP has approximately 250 employees and offices in Copenhagen, Hamburg, London, New York, Tokyo, Utrecht and Melbourne. CIP manages eight funds and has approximately EUR 16 billion under management. PensionDanmark was the founding and sole investor in CI I and CI A I. Today CIP’s funds have approximately 100 international institutional investors from the Nordics, Continental Europe, the UK, Israel, Asia, Australia, and North America and multi-lateral organisations e.g. EIB. CIP was founded in 2012 by senior executives from the energy industry in cooperation with PensionDanmark.

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