Europe debt market backs £250m CIP biomass refinancing

Royal Bank of Scotland and Investec were members of a banking consortium that restructured the financing arrangement for two CIP biomass plants.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has agreed a £250 million ($328.8 million; €277.9 million) refinancing of the first two biomass plants it invested in now that they are operational.

The refinancing package consists of senior debt sourced from Royal Bank of Scotland, Investec, Aviva Investors and an unnamed “major” institutional investor. The arrangement confirms the “attractiveness of this renewable asset class to the broader debt markets”, CIP stated.

The Danish fund manager’s Copenhagen Infrastructure I has ownership stakes in the 40MW Briggs REP in Lincolnshire and the 44MW Snetterton REP in East Anglia. Both are straw-fired biomass plants, with Briggs beginning operations in 2016 and Snetterton finishing construction in April.

“We are focused on investing in greenfield energy projects and the completion and subsequent refinancing of these two first biomass plants in our portfolio is an important milestone for us. We are delighted to have received the support of the broader debt markets,” said Rune Bro Roin, CIP senior partner.

CIP manages four funds and more than €6 billion in assets. Its two first funds have €3.3 billion of capital commitments and are fully invested and count PensionDanmark as sole investor in both funds.

In July, CIP held a third close for its third renewable energy fund that’s targeting around €3 billion. The fund is expected to close by the end of this year.