Syndication closed for 600MW North Sea wind farm

Long-term financing for Project Gemini, involving the construction of the world’s second-largest wind farm, has been secured.

A large group of banks have participated in the successful closing of general syndication for the 600-megawatt (MW) Gemini Offshore Wind Farm.

The syndication includes ABN AMRO Bank, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas Fortis, Deutsche Bank, Export Development Canada, Natixis and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as bookrunners and mandated lead arrangers.

Bank of Montreal and CIBC World Markets participated as mandated lead arrangers and Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten, CaixaBank and Banco Santander as mandated arrangers.

The size of the non-recourse long-term financing has not been officially disclosed but the size of the project has previously been cited in media reports as €2.8 billion. The sponsors of the project include Northland Power, Siemens Project Ventures, Van Oord Dredging & Marine Contractors and N.V.HVC.

Deutsche Bank acted as syndication bank on behalf of the commercial lenders.

Gemini is expected to be the second-largest wind farm in the world when it reaches full commercial operation in May 2017. It is situated in the south-eastern North Sea close to the borders of Germany and the Netherlands.

Siemens is the supplier and installer of wind turbines for the project and will also provide scheduled and unscheduled operation and maintenance (O&M) services under a 15-year full-scope service contract.

The project benefits from a €4.4 billion, 15-year public subsidy granted by the current Dutch price regime to support renewable energy, structured as a contract-for-differences which tops up the market electricity price based on a defined maximum production volume. The electricity generated will be sold at market price under a 15-year offtake agreement with a Dutch utility.

Gemini will be a key factor in meeting the requirement of the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive for all member states to reach a 20 percent share of energy from renewable sources by 2020.