Denmark: Walney Offshore Windfarms Finalises Shareholder Financing
DONG Energy has successfully supported its partner, OPW, in achieving refinance of the purchase (completed in December 2010) of their 24.8% stake in the 367MW Walney Offshore Windfarms (Walney).
OPW, a joint venture between Dutch pension fund PGGM and renewable energy investor Ampere Equity Fund, acquired a 24.8% stake Walney in 2010 from DONG Energy, the world’s leading offshore wind developer.
The financing for the project has been provided by a consortium of five banks, who have provided senior debt financing of c. £224m.
The club of banks includes the UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) which is lending circa £45m, approximately one fifth of the total. This will be GIB’s first transaction in the UK offshore wind sector.
Walney I and Walney II are fully commissioned and operational offshore wind farm projects located 14 km off the North West Coast of England. Each wind farm consists of 51 Siemens 3.6MW wind turbine generators. Walney I and Walney II have been fully operational since July 2011 and June 2012 respectively.
Mads Skovgaard-Anderson, Asset Manager at DONG Energy said:
“This further evidence of the success of DONG Energy’s partnership strategy within offshore wind – achieving financial close in the current economic climate – highlights the attractive qualities of these long term, stable assets for financial investors. The transaction has been a great collaborative effort from DONG Energy, the other Walney Shareholders and the lenders. We are delighted that Walney was the first offshore wind project to benefit from the support of the UK Green Investment Bank.
“Walney wind farm was the first project in the UK to be backed by institutional investors before it was built. The speed and efficiency of the project’s construction demonstrated the confidence in the development, as well as showing our commitment to offshore wind in the UK and to driving down costs.”
Shaun Kinsgbury, CEO of the UK Green Investment Bank, said:
“The UK Green Investment Bank is delighted to work with DONG Energy, OPW, SSE and the syndicate of banks on its first project in the UK offshore wind sector, which is a priority sector for us. Walney was particularly attractive as it ensures that capital is recycled in the marketplace, delivers a commercial return to the bank and reduces carbon emissions in the UK.”
OPW and its owners PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund are delighted with the deal which brings together institutional investors, four market leading banks and the UK Green Investment Bank to complete the financing of what is one of the UK’s most important renewable energy infrastructure projects.
”We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with our world class utility partners, DONG and SSE, and to making a significant contribution to a sustainable energy future,” according to Dennis van Alphen from PGGM and John Bromley from Ampere Equity Fund.
Press release, December 20, 2012; Image: DONG Energy