Clifford Chance has advised Elia, one of the five leading transmission system operators in Europe, on the structuring and negotiation of the EPCI construction contract for the world’s first artificial renewable energy island. This contract has been awarded to TM Edison, a consortium between two of the world’ largest dredging companies DEME and Jan De Nul following a competitive public procurement process.
The artificial energy island will be located in Belgian’s second offshore wind energy zone, the Princess Elisabeth Zone, in the North Sea. It will operate as a central electricity hub connecting three new wind farms with an aggregate capacity up to 3.5 GW with the onshore electricity grid before 2030. In addition, it is envisaged to accommodate future interconnectors with other European countries such as the United Kingdom and/or Denmark. The island plays a vital role for Europe in achieving its target for 300 GW of offshore wind energy by 2050, set in the EU Green Deal, and also in the global energy transition aiming to reduce carbon emission and limit climate change. It is co-funded by the EU through the European Recovery Fund and has been touted by EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recently as one of the ten most important projects funded by the European Recovery Fund.
Elia and the wider Elia Group are a longstanding client of Clifford Chance, and we are proud to continue working with them on the next phases of this flagship project supporting a sustainable future.
The core Clifford Chance team was led by counsel Patrice Viaene and consisted of associates Philippe Baert and Niels Sneyers and external consultant Matthias De Bauw. The team was further supported by counsel Inamuul Laher and David Metzger, associates Arthur Barbé and Yonathan Tison, partner Anastasios Tomtsis and associate Epistimi Oikonomopoulou on European funding aspects, partner Adam Hedley and associate Stijn Van Walleghem on EU customs and excise legislation, as well as various other international experts in our Abu Dhabi and London offices.
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