Weekly Closer: European renewables surge ahead

Clean energy deals in Western Europe led the financial close activity this week.

The renewables sector was on top of the infrastructure charts this week, accounting for just over 43 percent of total deal value and more than half all volume reported to sister platform IIassets.com.  

Total deal flow for the week was $3,620.51 million through nine closed transactions across all sectors, with one closing reported without financial details. Six of the nine transactions took place in Western Europe and two in North America, with one each in the Asia/Pacific and Middle East/Africa regions. 

Renewables | Total deal flow = $1,563.4 million 

The only mega-deal to close this week was the €1.2 billion Arkona Offshore Wind Farm Project, signed on 25 April after EON Energy made its final investment decision and equal co-sponsor Statoil agreed to terms. The 385MW greenfield project is currently under construction and is expected to be operational by January 2019. Operating at capacity, the wind farm will provide enough renewable electricity to power 400,000 homes via six 60MW Siemens turbines. 

The €100 million Swedish Solberg Windfarm Project closed on 15 April. The 75MW Fortum Corporation-sponsored project is expected to produce about 250GWh of electricity, equivalent to consumption of roughly 50,000 households through 22 wind turbines. Skelleftea Kraft AB has an option to participate in the project with a 50 percent share subject to decision by their municipal owner and authority approvals, IIassets.com notes. 

European Energy Systems' Vandel Solar Park Project reached financial close on 14 April with a €64.5 million, 17-year term loan from HSH Nordbank. Watson Farley Williams advised the lenders on the transaction. The park consists of 126 solar PV installations with a total capacity of 50.4MW. 

Energy | Total deal flow = $780 million 

Tenaska and Diamond Generating Corporation closed the financing on its long-planned Westmoreland Natural Gas-fueled Power Generating Station Project on 19 April with the issuance of a $780 million loan from a consortium of banks including BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and MUFG Union Bank NA. Borrowers were advised by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Black & Veatch is the project developer. Construction of the 925MW plant began in January. 

Obton's Sheepfarm solar project reached financial close on 21 April with the provision of a €22 million, 13-year loan from Norddeutsche Landesbank. Windprospect acted as technical advisor in the transaction, Willis as insurance advisor and Encome as technical advisor to the sponsor. Herbert Smith Freehills and VGG were the deal's legal advisors. The project calls for the installation of 20,000 solar modules onto 505 sheep shelters. 

The Ishinomaki Solar Project Acquisition closed on 26 April without reporting financial details of the transaction. GE Energy Financial Services acquired an 85 percent equity stake in the project from Trina Solar for an undisclosed amount. GE and Trina will now jointly develop the 14MW project. Power generation will be sold to Tohoku Electric Power under a 20-year contract with a feed-in tariff rate at JPY 36 ($0.32; €0.29) per kWh. 

Telecoms | Total deal flow = $757.11 million 

Telxius completed its acquisition of passive tower infrastructure from Telefonica Deutschland on 21 April for €587 million. The sale includes roughly 2,350 towers located mainly in rural areas of Germany, which together account for less than 10 percent of the total Telefonica passive tower portfolio. 

A Helios Towers subsidiary closed the financing for its Tanzania Network Expansion Project on 19 April with provision of a $95 million loan from a club of underwriters including Investec, National Micro Finance Bank, Standard Bank, Standbic IBTC Bank, The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and The Netherlands Development Finance Company. Project sponsors include Helios Investments, the International Finance Corporation, Millicom International, Quantum Strategic Partners, Albright Capital Management and RIT Capital Partners. 

Social Infrastructure | Total deal flow = $520 million 

The Plenary Properties Long Beach consortium reached financial close on the $520 million Long Beach Civic Center PPP Project on 21 April. The project includes the creation of a new city hall, a central library, a revitalisation of Lincoln Park, addition of parking facilities and new headquarters for the Port of Long Beach. It comes with a 40-year operations and maintenance contract. Project developers include Clark Construction and Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate. Kelly Sutherlin McLeod is the project lead architect, and Gustafson, Guthrie Nichol is the appointed landscape architect. Stifel serves as underwriter and Johnson Controls is the project facility manager and operator.