EnerCap closes Croatian wind financing

The Central and Eastern European renewable and clean energy investor has now fully committed its Power Fund.

Prague-based EnerCap Capital Partners has achieved financial close for the 42-megawatt (MW) first phase of the Obrovac wind farm in western Croatia.

EnerCap has invested in the deal from its EnerCap Power Fund I, which backs renewable and clean energy projects in Central and Eastern Europe. The €98 million fund is now fully committed and almost fully invested.

Debt facilities for the wind farm comprise a €50.56 million, 15-year term loan from UniCredit Bank Austria and Erste Group Bank (supported by Croatian subsidiary Erste & Steiermarkische Bank) and a VAT facility from UniCredit subsidiary Zagrebacka Banka.

The project has also secured a guarantee from EKF, the Danish export credit agency.

The project, which is shortly to begin construction, comprises 14 3MW wind turbines, totalling 42MW of installed capacity, located near the town of Obrovac, 20 kilometres inland from the coastal port of Zadar.

The wind farm is expected to start commercial operations in the second quarter of 2014. The EnerCap Power Fund is also aiming to proceed soon with a 12MW second phase of the project which will bring Obrovac’s capacity up to 54MW, making it the largest wind farm in Croatia.

The Power Fund is now almost fully invested, which EnerCap partner Shane Woodroffe described as “a remarkable achievement given the state of the project financing markets since the Fund closed in 2007”. He said the firm could now start to think about exit strategies.

The fund has invested in six wind projects in total, with a combined capacity of 320MW, in countries such as Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic. The Obrovac deal is the fund’s first investment in Croatia.

EnerCap is currently in the process of launching the Enercap Efficient Energy Fund, which has a €350 million target and will aim to invest in 8 to 10 high-efficiency energy projects in the Central and Eastern Europe region.