United Kingdom

United Kingdom

GIB buys 24.95% of Rhyl Flats for £57.5m

Development bank confirms first direct equity in offshore wind

An almost quarter stake in 90MW Rhyl Flats offshore wind farm has been bought by UK government’s newly-created Green Investment Bank (GIB). Formal confirmation of the purchase came today, following an earlier, tacit acknowledgement in February.

GIB has purchased the stake from RWE, which has now sold just less than 50% of Rhyl Flats, located off the north Walescoast. In February, another 24.95% stake was sold to Greencoat UK Wind, which is owned by clean-tech investment firm Greencoat Capital. Rhyl Flats has been fully operational since March 2010.

Commenting on the acquisition, GIB chief executive, Shaun Kinsgbury, said: "Rhyl Flats was an ideal investment for us as it helps to develop the market for buying and selling operating offshore wind assets, allowing the release of capital back to the original developers, which will be invested in new renewable projects in theUK. At the same time as developing a market, this investment will deliver a commercial return to the bank."

Kingsbury added that offshore wind "is a proiority sector" for the GIB. RWE is seeking to build more offshore wind farms in the UK, including Atlantic Array and Triton Knoll. It has recently announced a slowdown in its offshore wind construction programme, as it struggles with debt.

Last year, GIB made its first offshore wind-related transaction, when it supported debt refinancing for a consortium that owns 24.8% of Walney offshore wind farm.

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