Partners leads funding of €1.6bn German offshore wind farm

The private markets manager is investing €250m in the 400MW Merkur project, as part of a consortium that also includes InfraRed Capital Partners.

Swiss-headquartered private markets manager Partners Group is leading the consortium that has just reached financial close on the €1.6 billion Merkur offshore wind farm, in Germany.

Partners, which owns 50 percent of the consortium, is investing about €250 million in equity on behalf of its clients in the 400MW project, with infrastructure manager InfraRed Capital Partners (25 percent) contributing €125 million through its third infrastructure fund. Other consortium members include contractors DEME Concessions Wind (12.5 percent), GE Energy Financial Services (6.25 percent) and France’s L’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (6.25 percent).

A group of 10 banks is also lending €1.2 billion for the project on a non-recourse basis. They include KfW Mittelstandsbank, ABN Amro, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, KfW IPEX, Natixis, Rabobank, SEB, SMBC and Société Générale.

The construction-ready offshore wind project will be located some 50km off the North Sea coast and benefits from a fixed 10-year feed-in-tariff. Merkur will be able to power around half-a-million homes when it is ready in 2019.

“At Partners, we have highlighted renewable energy as one of our principle areas of investment focus globally in the current market environment. Merkur is a great fit with this strategy and is highly complementary to other recent renewables investments in our overall portfolio,” Esther Peiner, senior vice president, Private Infrastructure Europe, said in a statement.

The private markets manager has invested in over 600MW of wind projects across Europe, Asia and Australia, including its July 2015 investment in the 240MW Ararat Wind farm, near Melbourne. It is also active in solar, where it owns a 770MW portfolio. InfraRed, for its part, has a renewable energy portfolio with a 1.2GW capacity.