Keppel takes stake in offshore wind turbine foundation designer

KV Ventus B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore's Keppel Corporation Ltd. has entered into an agreement to take a 49.9 percent stake in offshore wind turbine foundation designer OWEC Tower (AS) for about NOK 61 million.

OWEC Tower, headquartered in Norway, is a leader in the design and engineering of offshore wind turbine foundations. The company has developed a proprietary jacket foundation design known as OWEC Quattropod that separates and optimizes the piling and jacket installation process, reducing installation costs and giving faster project delivery.

Keppel says the investment will enable Keppel Offshore & Marine to tap into OWEC Tower's expertise to further develop its business in the design and construction of offshore wind turbine foundations as well as installation and support vessels.

Mr. Michael Chia, Director of Group Strategy and Development at Keppel said, "We are seeing offshore wind energy rapidly gaining traction around the world and a large number of offshore wind farms are under construction and planning. This will result in a huge increase in demand for foundation structures. With OWEC Tower's leading design in this segment, our partnership puts us in the ideal position to capture a share of this market.

"As offshore wind farms move into deeper waters with bigger capacity turbines, a large number of jacket foundations will be required. With our experience and expertise as a leading rig builder, we see good potential in supporting OWEC Tower to meet this demand in a cost-effective and reliable manner. Together with our proprietary designs for offshore wind turbine and foundation installers, we are confident of further enhancing our suite of solutions for the offshore wind industry."

OWEC Tower has a track record of having its jacket foundation design installed for offshore wind farms. Projects include the Beatrice pilot test off the coast of Scotland, the German pilot project Alpha Ventus, Ormonde wind farm in the U.K., and the Belgian Thornton Bank project.

January 3, 2011