December 12, 2017

Allen & Overy closes largest-ever European offshore wind financing

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GeminiWith a total value of EUR 2,8 billion, the largest-ever European offshore wind financing (Project Gemini) reached financial close on May 15  in the office of Allen & Overy in Amsterdam.

With a capacity of 600 megawatts, this offshore wind farm will be one of the biggest in the world. The produced renewable energy will be enough to meet the needs of 785.000 households and will reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands significantly, the firm announced.

Over 22 parties were involved in the project, including 12 commercial creditors, four public financial institutions, one pension fund and an equity consortium. Gemini is owned by a consortium consisting of Northland Power Inc. (60%), Siemens Financial Services (20%), Van Oord Dredging (10%) and Marine Contractors BV and N.V. HVC (10%).

Financing

Allen & Overy acted for the lenders consortium with parties from North America, Asia and Europe, including ABN AMRO Bank N.V., The Bank Of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., BNP Paribas, Bank Of Montreal, London Branch, Caixabank, S.A., CIBC World Markets Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Export Development Canada, Natixis, Banco Santander S.A., N.V. Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, the European Investment Bank, Euler Hermes, Delcredere | Ducroire and Eksport Kredit Fonden. Approximately 70 percent of the project’s required financing has been provided via EUR 2 billion of “non-recourse” senior secured construction and term debt financing from 12 international commercial creditors, three export credit agencies and the European Investment Bank. This type of financing requires a strong project contract structure and entails a comprehensive due diligence process. Reflecting the strength of the project, the Gemini senior financing was oversubscribed and attracted a number of institutions that have not previously lent to the offshore wind sector.

The team

The Allen & Overy team was lead by partner Werner Runge, Head of the Energy practice in the Netherlands, and counsel Frédérique Jacobse. Other team members were Jochem Spaans, Niels Molenaar, Marinus Winters, Kathelijn Noordzij, Willem van der Vossen, IJsbrand de Jong and Marjolein Pichel from our Projects, Banking and Regulated Markets practices. Werner Runge: “The volume and complexity of this project underlines the challenges and opportunities in the offshore wind sector. We are excited that our Projects team was involved in this largest-ever European offshore wind financing, another ‘first’ in the Dutch market. Our integrated team operated cross practice, with an eye for all relevant issues. The successful financial close of this project acknowledges our project finance experience in the energy sector.”

Re-published with permission of Allen & Overy

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