Dutch company Sif has voiced apprehensions regarding the potential consequences of delays or cancellations of the Equinor and BP joint project, Empire Wind 1&2, in the United States. Sif has emphasized that such developments could lead to a “material impact” on its financial outlook in the coming years.
Sif has revealed that its monopile and transition piece contracts for the Empire Wind project represent its sole confirmed orders in the United States. These agreements are slated for production across various time slots, extending from the second half of next year through 2026.
Equinor and BP have encountered setbacks as their request to modify their off-take agreement was denied by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Additionally, recent legislation has restricted the use of a portion of land designated for an export cable. Equinor and BP are presently evaluating the potential repercussions of these developments.
Fred van Beers, CEO of Sif, underscored these concerns while announcing the company's third-quarter results. He stated, “Uncertainty around several offshore wind projects in mainly the United States of America and the United Kingdom due to higher interest rates and material costs have resulted in turmoil in the industry and a distraction from the progress made elsewhere.”
In the third quarter of 2023, Sif reported an adjusted EBITDA of €7.1 million, down from €7.8 million in the same period the previous year. The company's output for the third quarter reached 50,000 tons, which the CEO deemed satisfactory, especially considering the impact of summer holidays. This output brings the year-to-date production to 144,000 tons.
Van Beers expressed expectations of ending the year 2023 with a total output of approximately 200,000 tons, slightly below their initial estimate of 208,000 tons. Challenges related to the availability of qualified personnel, tight labor markets for technical skills, relatively high sick leave rates, and constraints in the size of their production facilities in Roermond were cited as factors contributing to the production pressures.
The fate of the Empire Wind project, alongside the broader offshore wind industry, remains a subject of intense interest and scrutiny as stakeholders assess the impact of various challenges on their future prospects.