Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL), a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (35%) and Red Rock Power Limited (25%), has achieved a successful Financial Close on a refinancing of its senior debt facilities.
The wind farm, located 13km off the Caithness coast, Scotland, is the fourth largest offshore wind farm in the world and Scotland’s largest. Now complete, the project’s 84, 7MW (588MW) Siemens Gamesa turbines are capable of delivering clean, renewable power to over 450,000 homes per year.
The refinancing comprises primarily commercial bank debt and also includes an institutional tranche. Several of the project’s original lenders have remained in the refinancing and the project has also attracted investment from a number of newer lenders to the UK offshore wind market.
The facilities were heavily oversubscribed, reflecting strong lender appetite for the offshore wind farm. The project reached full operations in May 2019, signalling the expiry of all material construction risks, enabling the refinancing to reach a successful conclusion.
Jim Smith, Managing Director of SSE Renewables, said: “The strong appetite of the lenders for this refinancing reflects lending market confidence in BOWL and its three shareholders.
“It is a testament to the track record built up by the project through the successful delivery of the construction phase, with the project reaching full operations on time, and the strong operational performance to date.
“SSE Renewables has managed the construction phase and is undertaking the same role during the operations phase. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with our partners, CIP and Red Rock Power.”
Michael Hannibal, Partner in CIP, said: “The closing of the refinancing of Beatrice on attractive terms and conditions marks another important milestone for the offshore wind project. CIP is pleased with the market response and the well-functioning cooperation with our partners, SSE and Red Rock, as well as with the lenders. This is a significant milestone in CIP’s offshore wind strategy, where we develop, construct and operate offshore wind projects globally and where we provide optimal financing solutions for offshore wind projects globally.”
Guy Madgwick, CEO of Red Rock Power Limited, added: “The competitive refinancing of BOWL indicates rising confidence in the Scottish offshore wind sector as well as the positive impact this will have on our economy in the coming decades. Beatrice is a huge success for everyone involved and something the country should be proud of – it marks the beginning of a new offshore wind era as renewable energy continues to overtake fossil fuels. This refinancing will benefit our own expansion efforts and allow us to consider new opportunities to deliver affordable energy.”
BOWL were advised by Santander and Linklaters, with Norton Rose Fulbright acting for the lenders and Wood providing technical advice to the lenders.