Wind Turbine Blades

WFW advises Zurich Municipal Electric Utility, ewz, on the acquisition of shares in the 288 MW offshore wind farm “Butendiek”

30 January 2014


Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised ewz, Zurich Municipal Electric Utility, (“ewz”) on the acquisition of shares in offshore wind farm “Butendiek” in the German North Sea.

Through its subsidiary ewz (Deutschland) GmbH, ewz acquired a 49 per cent share in wpd Butendiek Beteiligungs GmbH, which owns a 10 per cent share in the wind farm’s project company. The remaining shareholders of the project company are German project developer wpd AG (“wpd”), the private equity fund Marguerite, CDC Infrastructure, Siemens Financial Services and a group of Danish pension funds.

The offshore wind farm “Butendiek” is situated approximately 32 km from the island of Sylt and 53 km from the mainland. It will contain 80 wind turbines with an installed combined capacity of 288 MW. wpd developed the project and is responsible for the construction and the operation of the wind farm. The start of construction is planned for the spring of 2014 and the commissioning for the summer of 2015.

With 62 gigawatt hours of electricity produced annually, it is expected that ewz’s share in the project could supply up to 23,000 average-sized households in the city of Zurich with electricity.

WFW advised ewz on all legal and tax aspects of the acquisition, including project contracts and participation agreements as well as the structuring of the joint venture.

ewz is among the leading Swiss utilities in terms of revenue and counts 1,100 employees. The municipal company addresses topics, which will become increasingly important: secure and ecological power supplies; the efficient use of energy; the provision of modern communication technology such as the broadband network for the city of Zurich.

The team of WFW was led by Hamburg-based partner Dr. Marcus Bechtel (Corporate). He was supported by partners Gerrit Bartsch (Tax, Hamburg), Sven Fretthold (Project & Structured Finance, Hamburg) and Dr. Ahmad Khonsari (Corporate, Munich) as well as associates Stefan Hoffmann, Cathrin Browne (both Corporate, Hamburg) and Dr. Christine Bader (Regulatory, Hamburg).