One of the major oil companies in the world will build a windfarm off the shore of Belgium.PARIS, France, FR, 2001-07-06 [SolarAccess.com] Fina Eolia S.A./N.V., a subsidiary of TotalFinaElf, has applied to the Belgian Electricity & Gas Regulatory Commission for a concession to build a windfarm in Belgian waters. The project would involve 40 turbines installed 8 to 17 kilometers off shore, in two lines perpendicular to the coast to minimize the visual impact. The facility would be installed and commissioned in two stages of 50 MW each, in 2003 and 2004 respectively. The output would be sufficient electricity for 150,000 people. The turbines will be connected to the onshore grid by an under-sea cable that would touch landfall near the port of Zeebrugge. The proposed route would be close to existing undersea pipelines and cables, to minimize the project’s impact on the seabed and existing fishing zones. The application for the offshore concession is the first stage in an authorization process that will take one year to study and assess the environmental impact on the sea, as well as on fishing, shipping and tourism. The studies are conducted in cooperation with local communities, regional authorities and other concerned parties. TotalFinaElf wants to use its skill in offshore oil drilling to develop the innovative project. The facility will generate electricity from renewable sources to meet targets set by the European Union and the Belgian State Department of Energy. Engineering studies will determine the investment required which, in turn, will depend on the introduction of an appropriate tariff structure for the project.