Macquarie and RES put Murra Warra II up for sale

Murra Warra’s second phase could fetch a significantly higher price than that paid by Partners Group for phase one in 2018, amid high demand for renewables assets.

Macquarie Capital and Renewable Energy System have put the second phase of the Murra Warra Wind Farm on the market, Infrastructure Investor understands.

The two investors sold a 100 percent stake in the first phase of Murra Warra, which has a nameplate capacity of 226MW, to Partners Group in September 2018 for more than A$200 million ($137 million; €123 million).

Murra Warra II is slightly smaller than the first phase, with a capacity of 203MW. The project will feature 55 turbines and the two phases combined will make the scheme one of Australia’s largest wind farms once it has been completed.

Sources familiar with the assets confirmed that the second phase was now up for sale, following the commencement of output from phase one earlier this year.

Infrastructure Investor understands that construction on phase one is still not complete, following the collapse this year of turbine manufacturer Senvion. The company was responsible for manufacturing and installing the 61 turbines that made up Murra Warra I in a joint venture with Australian engineering firm Downer EDI.

A power-purchase agreement, signed in December 2017, is in place for Murra Warra I. A “significant portion” of its output has been sold to Telstra, Coca-Cola Amatil, ANZ Banking Group, the University of Melbourne and Monash University.

One source suggested that the price for Murra Warra II was likely to be significantly higher than that achieved for the first phase owing to the demand for renewable energy assets.

Macquarie Capital declined to comment. RES did not respond to a request for comment.

In a separate deal, AMP Capital announced today that it had agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in Macarthur Wind Farm in Victoria from Malaysian energy company Malakoff. Macarthur Wind Farm is the state’s largest operating wind farm and has been operating since 2013. It will be overtaken by Murra Warra once the latter reaches completion.

AMP Capital made the purchase for A$880 million, including both debt and equity components, with the investment split between its Community Infrastructure Fund and its Core Infrastructure Fund. The firm did not disclose how the equity had been split between the two funds, but Infrastructure Investor understands the vast majority will be held in the Community Infrastructure Fund.

Macarthur Wind Farm comprises 140 turbines with 420MW of generating capacity. Its output is fully contracted to AGL Energy under a fixed-price contract until 2038.

New Zealand’s Morrison & Co owns the other 50 percent of Macarthur Wind Farm, which it purchased in 2015.