Sumitomo buys stake in Galloper offshore project

The 336MW wind farm had trouble finding financial sponsors a year ago but is now funded by a consortium including Macquarie, Siemens and GIB.

Sumitomo Corporation has agreed to purchase a 12.5 percent stake in the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, a 336MW project off the UK coast.

The Japanese company joins a consortium of equity sponsors including Siemens Financial Services, Macquarie Capital, the UK Green Investment Bank and the project's developer, RWE Innogy UK. The £1.5 billion ($2 billion; €1.8 billion) project is currently under construction and is expected to be operational by 2018.

Last fall, the project had trouble getting started after Scottish utility SSE Energy pulled its funding. The current consortium then stepped forward to bring the scheme to financial close. The Galloper wind facility is also financed through debt agreements from a group of lenders including the European Investment Bank.

The wind farm will consist of 56 turbines constructed off the coast of Suffolk. Its electricity will be sold through power-purchase agreements with off-takers in the UK. The facility has a 25-year estimated lifespan.

Sumitomo had previously invested in European offshore wind in 2014, when it committed to the 165MW Belwind, the 216MW Northwind and the 165MW Nobelwind off the coast of Belgium. The company said it will continue to use its partnership with Macquarie to pursue opportunities in Europe's offshore wind market.