Infranode, a Nordic infrastructure fund, has partnered up with the municipally owned Danish Port Esbjerg to invest up to one billion Danish kroner (approx. EUR 134 million) into new port infrastructure facilities for the wind turbine industry in the port. The project could create thousands of green jobs in Esbjerg and the rest of Denmark.
Investments of potentially up to one billion Danish kroner (approx. EUR 134 million) may be underway to Esbjerg (the fifth largest city in Denmark) that will go into port facilities for storage, preassembly and manufacturing of components for the offshore wind industry. Investments will be made available gradually as manufacturers of wind turbine components and offshore wind service providers expand their businesses in the rapidly growing wind turbine industry.
The investments to be made in the port of Esbjerg will be Infranode’s second major investment in Denmark. In December 2019, Infranode completed an investment to build the largest solar park in the Nordics which is now under construction in Vandel (central Jutland).
“We’ve found a strong, long-term partner with substantial insights in energy, port infrastructure and sustainability. With this new partnership, the city of Esbjerg, Port Esbjerg and Denmark will be even better prepared to seize opportunities to create green growth and new jobs in the massive expansion of offshore wind power in the North Sea as we approach 2030,” said Flemming N. Enevoldsen, Port Esbjerg’s Chairman in a press release.
The investment is expected to create as many as 2,000 new jobs. The port of Esbjerg already has an employment effect equivalent to 17,000 jobs in and outside of Esbjerg.
“We can be proud that we are able to attract such an investment to Esbjerg, which offers a unique opportunity in the green transition. Offshore wind turbines are getting bigger and bigger, and it supports the entire supply chain that we can produce them directly on the quay here in “Denmark’s Energy Metropolis”, where we have already gathered the competences,” said Jesper Frost Rasmussen, Mayor of Esbjerg, to Danish newspaper Jydske Vestkysten.
A leading port in the offshore wind industry
The port of Esbjerg has a leading position – in Europe and in the world – as an originating port for wind power. About 80 per cent of the offshore wind capacity installed in Europe today was shipped from Esbjerg. In the record year of 2019, more than 1,500 MW of offshore wind turbine components were shipped from the port.
The coming years will offer large potential for growth. There are currently prospective projects of up to 100 GW being installed in the North Sea by 2030 – a five-fold increase compared to today. This will require wind turbines of even larger sizes than the ones in operation today. And in this context, the new facilities in the port of Esbjerg will contribute to the sustainable development by reducing the costs of transportation between production sites and installation sites.
Esbjerg is uniquely positioned in a rapidly growing offshore wind market as well as in the North Sea, which plays a key role in Europe’s climate transition.
– Niels Vallø, Senior Advisor, Infranode
“Esbjerg is uniquely positioned in a rapidly growing offshore wind market as well as in the North Sea, which plays a key role in Europe’s climate transition. We’re pleased to have this opportunity to play a part in building on that position and to create a setting for future green growth in the region. We want to play a part in propelling the industry to new heights,” said Infranode Senior Advisor Niels Vallø in the press release.
Infranode is a long-term investor in infrastructure for the Nordic region, operating within energy, transport, telecommunication and social infrastructure. Infranode has more than EUR 750 million under management with commitments from well-known Nordic institutional investors, such as the Swedish municipality workers’ pension fund, KPA Pension and one of the largest insurance companies in Sweden, Folksam.
Investing in the port of Esbjerg is a strategic fit for Infranode.
“This investment is part of our strategy of being a long-term partner to the public sector in the green transition currently unfolding in Denmark and throughout the Nordic region, and we look forward to investing in more Danish infrastructure projects,” said Joel Löfroth, who is in charge of Infranode’s activities in Denmark.
Prerequisites in place for growth in the wind industry
It is important to Port Esbjerg that the agreement with Infranode will provide access to financing for the construction of facilities – particularly in a world challenged by COVID-19 – so a lack of capital does not become a hindrance to green growth in Europe.
“We have a really strong platform in Esbjerg and in all of Denmark in terms of the green energy potential. The physical settings are in place at the port of Esbjerg, and this agreement will set the base for the necessary financial capabilities for unlocking the huge potential so we can establish the necessary production capacity,” said Port Esbjerg CEO Dennis Jul Pedersen.
Jydske Vestkysten (in Danish)
Photo: Port Esbjerg