United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Landmark UK offshore deal agreed

UNITED KINGDOM: A joint venture of Siemens, Centrica and Dong has closed the project financing of the 270MW Lincs offshore wind farm, securing £425 million in debt facilities.

The long-term debt package is understood to have a tenor of 15 years to match the project’s power purchase agreement, and has been supplied by a consortium of 10 banks.

The 10 banks are: Abbey National (Santander); BNP Paribas; Nordea Bank; Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken; Unicredit Bank; DNB Bank; HSBC Bank; KfW IPEX-Bank; Lloyds TSB; and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which also acted as financial adviser for the deal.

The deal is the first non-recourse project financing for a UK offshore wind farm. However, the final debt package is lower than had been hoped for when the financing process was relaunched in September last year.

The sponsors have committed £574 million equity as follows: Centrica (50% equity holder) £333 million; Dong (25%) £166 million; Siemens (25%) £75 million.

Construction of Lincs began in 2010. The project, located 8km off the east coast of England, comprises 75 Siemens 3.6 MW turbines.

First power is expected to be achieved in the second half of 2012 and the wind farm is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2013.

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