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Hochtief Commissions Wind Farm-Building Ship on German Boom

Hochtief AG commissioned its fourth heavy-duty unit to erect wind farms at sea as Germany’s biggest builder banks on “huge demand” from the country’s switch to alternative energy sources.

The ship will be equipped with a 1,200 metric ton crane, Hochtief’s Solutions unit said by e-mail today. It will be built by Poland’s Crist shipyard and is to start operating in 2013, it said.

“We are banking on the move to alternative energy sources and accommodating market players’ huge demand with our special-purpose vessel,” Rainer Eichholz, a board member at the unit, said in the statement.

Germany plans to install 25 gigawatts of turbines off its coast by 2030 to help replace its nuclear reactors, ordered shut by 2022 after the Fukushima Dai-Ichi disaster in Japan in March. Hochtief, with 20 billion euros ($26 billion) of sales in 2010, seeks to benefit from projects costing more than 1 billion euros. It set up a company to develop wind farms for sale and plans to charter out its construction vessels.

The vessel will cost in the “low three-digit” million euros, Bernd Puetter, a spokesman, said by phone.

The ship, named Vidar after a Norse god who avenged the death of his father by slaying his killer, a wolf, is financed through an operate-lease structure with a subsidiary of Santander acting as the lessor, and with the involvement of KfW IPEX Bank GmbH, Norddeutsche Landesbank, CaixaBank and Bankhaus Lampe, it said.

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