Walney refinancing closes
Press release, 20 December 2012
The GBP 224 M refinancing of the stake held in the Walney project by PGGM and Ampère Equity Fund, where Green Giraffe advised the borrower, closed on 18 December 2012. Here’s the press release describing the transaction, as provided by the company at the time.
PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund, acting jointly through a dedicated investment vehicle, OPW, are pleased to announce that they have closed the refinancing of the purchase (completed in December 2010) of their 24.8% stake in the Walney offshore wind farm (situated about 14 km off the UK coast in the Irish Sea), the largest operating wind farm in the world.
A group of 4 commercial lenders: Lloyds Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland plc, Santander, and Siemens Bank GmbH, together with the newly established UK Green Investment Bank plc (“GIB”), have provided between them facilities totaling GBP 224 M.
This financing will enable PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund to refinance on a non-recourse basis approximately 70% of the purchase price agreed with DONG Energy, the developer, operator and majority owner (with a 50.1% stake) of the project, that consists of 102 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines, for a total capacity of 367 MW. The first phase, Walney 1, was completed in July 2011, while the second, Walney 2, was commissioned in June 2012. SSE also has a 25.1% stake in the project alongside DONG Energy and OPW.
The project is expected to provide power equivalent to the consumption of around 340,000 UK households and to abate 480,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually on current energy generation figures.
This financing marks the first loan by GIB to the UK offshore wind sector and is the first financing of a project minority stake in the commercial banking market.