Posted on September 16, 2021
Thistle Wind Partners, a consortium composed of DEME Concessions NV, Qair Marine SAS, and Aspiravi International NV, has revealed its participation in Crown Estate Scotland’s ScotWind seabed leasing process. TWP will bring together its partners’ solid experience in similar offshore wind developments, characterised by fast-track delivery, stakeholder involvement, and supply chain engagement. TWP looks forward to contributing to the acceleration of the energy transition in Scotland.
The consortium partners are global leaders in their respective fields and accrue a strong track record of successfully delivering projects in environmentally, technically, and financially innovative ways to ensure optimal delivery with a major focus on local community and supply chain engagement. The partners’ complimentary capabilities will achieve their ambition to develop, build, and operate offshore wind projects in Scotland:
- DEME Concessions brings together all investments and expertise of the DEME Group in the fields of offshore wind and other renewables, green hydrogen, port development, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Infrastructure, environment, and marine resources. DEME Concessions provides equity, project finance structuring, and specific technical knowhow, with the support of the various activity lines of the DEME Group. DEME Concessions Wind has developed over 1.5 GW of offshore wind projects in Europe with increasing focus on the UK.
- Qair Marine, the wholly owned subsidiary of Qair dedicated to offshore wind, is at the forefront of floating offshore wind with the development of EolMed in the French Mediterranean and the operations and maintenance of Floatgen, the first floating offshore wind turbine in France. With over 30 years of experience in the market and active in 16 countries, Qair is a true pioneer of renewable energy project development. As of today, Qair owns and operates 500 MW exclusively from renewable sources. Globally, the group is in the construction and financing phase of an additional 700 MW and targets an installed capacity of 5 GW within five years.
- Aspiravi International, part of the Aspiravi Group develops, implements, and operates renewable energy projects with a total installed capacity of over 1.5 GW. These projects primarily pertain to wind energy but the Aspiravi Group also owns and operates biomass installations, biogas engines, and hydro-electric installations.
A long-term commitment to the Scottish renewable energy market
Driven by the aim to deliver bespoke project concepts meeting the ambitions of Scotland’s energy transition, Thistle Wind Partners has undertaken an extensive assessment of the environmental (particularly ornithology, marine fish and mammals, and commercial fisheries) and technical aspects of the ScotWind sites (both offshore and onshore). Additionally, to secure a fast tracked, de-risked development, the consortium has conducted focused site-specific technology optioneering, in-depth evaluation of the current and planned grid capacity infrastructure, and developed a comprehensive risk mitigation plan. These early development works will result in efficient project delivery and supplier engagement.
Despite the challenging sea and seabed conditions of Scottish waters, TWP has strengthened its position through the extensive experience of DEME Offshore (member of the DEME Group) and its unrivalled track record in the transport and installation of foundations, turbines, inter-array cables, export cables, and substations for offshore wind farms. DEME Offshore has been involved in almost 30 offshore renewable projects to-date in the UK (circa 6 GW).
By operating a high-tech and versatile fleet of vessels, DEME Offshore offers flexible solutions for the most complex offshore energy projects and thus de-risked project constructions. Furthermore, its fleet of vessels will be at the disposal of TWP to strengthens the consortium’s position further by removing a key delivery risk faced by all Scottish offshore wind projects. Finally, DEME Offshore’s extensive experience and knowledge from daily offshore marine construction has already been applied in the consortium’s technical optioneering.
As the project presents value and job creation opportunities for Scotland, TWP is fully committed to working with Scottish communities and businesses to help develop supply chains and expertise. In the coming months, the consortium will be actively engaging with communities and businesses to understand local capabilities in detail and envision a way of successfully working together. Focus will be given to breaking down barriers to new entrants to the labour force, newly qualified workers and energy transition job creation, all the while ensuring, through investment, that Scottish ports are ready and in the best position to seize the offshore wind pipeline of opportunities. This will build upon DEME Offshore’s efforts to date in working to increase local content and their established supply chain in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
As a renewable independent power producer, with the purpose to sell electricity produced locally through its assets on a long-term basis, Qair has recently entered into a partnership with Eco Projects, a Scottish wind developer. Together, through Qair Scotland, they will jointly develop an existing portfolio of some 400 MW of onshore wind projects which should complement the energy produced by TWP offshore projects.
Qair’s partnership with Eco Projects is a testament to Qair’s long-term commitment to the Scottish renewable energy market and to becoming a significant local player. In this context, TWP will benefit from the additional expertise and local market knowledge of Qair Scotland to facilitate the smooth integration and fast-tracked development of TWP projects, guarantee cost effective project delivery, and safeguard appropriate offshore wind cost of energy, ensuring competitive energy prices to consumers.
Drawing upon the experience of DEME and Qair in the rapidly advancing Green Hydrogen landscape (e.g., HYPORT Duqm, Oman and Hyd’Occ in Port-la Nouvelle, France), TWP will actively explore the role of Green Hydrogen in their projects to contribute to Scotland’s ambitious net zero targets by 2045.
As a consortium consisting of partners who have organically grown through bespoke project development, we pledge our project solutions will be tailored to the requirements of the Scottish stakeholders and include a maximum of local supply chain capabilities, said Alain Bernard, Chairman and Managing Director of DEME Concessions
Qair welcomes the opportunity to contribute to Scotland’s energy transition through the development, the financing, the construction, and the operation of a new wind farm portfolio. We firmly believe speed will be key to successfully tackling climate issues, that is why Qair Scotland will dedicate itself to grow in-line with the market potential of the region. Our ambition is to become a local multi-technology renewable energy producer (onshore and offshore wind, and green hydrogen) and a true driving force enabling Scotland to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, said Louis Blanchard, President of Qair.
The Aspiravi Group, with almost 20 years of experience in developing, implementing, financing, and operating 1.5 GW of renewable energy projects, combined with the strengths of our partners, makes TWP a reliable party that can play an important role in the energy transition in Scotland, said Rik Van de Walle, Managing Director of Aspiravi Holding.
DEME is a world leader in the specialised fields of dredging, solutions for the offshore energy industry, infra marine and environmental works. The company can build on more than 140 years of know-how and is a front runner in innovation and new technologies.
DEME’s vision is to work towards a sustainable future by offering solutions for global challenges: a rising sea level, a growing population, reduction of CO2 emissions, polluted rivers and soils and the scarcity of natural resources.
DEME can rely on 5,200 highly skilled professionals and a modern fleet of over 100 vessels.
Qair is an independent producer of exclusively renewable energy, developing, constructing, and operating wind, solar, hydroelectric, and green hydrogen production projects on own account. Active in 16 countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, with its 300 employees committed to the energy transition, Qair’s ambition is to become an independent leader in responsible energy.
Its subsidiary Qair Marine, dedicated to the development of renewable marine energies, is the main shareholder of the EolMed project, a 30 MW floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Gruissan (Aude, France), and has contributed to the maintenance and operation of FloatGen, the first French floating wind turbine.