Financial close for Veja Mate offshore wind farm

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Financial close for Veja Mate offshore wind farm

Highland Group Holdings (HGHL), Siemens Financial Services and Copenhagen Infrastructure II have close financing for the 400 MW Veja Mate offshore wind farm project in Germany.

The partners have arranged the successful financing of the project for a total project investment of €1.9 billion (US$2.11 billion). A “non-recourse” financing in an amount of €1,275 million (US$1.4 billion), the largest of its kind in Germany to date, was signed with a consortium of 8 financial institutions, including the KfW programme for offshore wind, Danish export credit agency Eksport Kredit Funden and 6 mandated lead arrangers: Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, KfW IPEX-Bank, Natixis, Santander and SMBC.

The debt amount represents 67% of the investment budget and has a maturity of 12 years post-construction of the wind farm, matching the duration of the elevated tariff the project is entitled to under the existing German law for renewable energy.

The Veja Mate offshore wind farm will operate 95 km North West from the island of Borkum and will be connected to the power grid via the existing Borwin 2 offshore sub-station managed by TenneT, the grid operator. With 72 turbines on an area of 50 km² the wind farm will produce 1.6 TWh per year.

The project, which was acquired in September 2014 by investment firm Highland Group Holdings an investment vehicle owned by Lord Laidlaw, is now owned by a consortium including Highland, Copenhagen Infrastructure II, a fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and Siemens Financial Services. The three parties will contribute the total equity requirements of the project, in the form of share capital and mezzanine loans.

Veja Mate was advised by CMS Hasche Sigle, Green Giraffe, K2 Management, Ernst & Young, JCRA and Marsh . The lenders were advised by Benatar & Co Ltd, Ernst & Young, Sgurr Energy and Watson Farley & Williams. Additionally, EKF was advised by Kromann Reumert.

Copenhagen Infrastructure II was advised by Hengeler Mueller and FIH Partners.

said Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay, owner of Highland Group Holdings Ltd.

“We are very pleased to see Veja Mate reach financial close less than a year after its acquisition. This underlines the quality of the work done by the project team and the strength of the German regulatory framework for offshore wind. We are very pleased to have been joined by two highly experienced parties in the sector and look forward to working with them to ensure the project is built to highest standards.”

Wolfgang Bischoff, Head of EMEA Energy Finance at Siemens Financial Services commented:

“The offshore wind sector has matured considerably in recent years and the close of Veja Mate is yet another significant step forward in its development, highlighting the bankability of well-structured projects at the construction stage. In this case, the speed at which we achieved financial close demonstrates the strong market confidence in Siemens’ technical and financial experience in this sector.”

Christina G. Sørensen, Senior Partner in Copenhagen Infrastructure Partner.

“Veja Mate is a fully developed and procured offshore wind project, with a grid connection on the BorWin2 platform, which from 2017 will deliver stable returns for many years. We are very satisfied with this investment which benefits from the strong German regulatory framework, and look forward to contributing our competence and experience in cooperation with our partners.”

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