Weekly Closer: Western European energy at the forefront

Renewables slipped behind energy in terms of value, but still led by volume.

This week's reported financial closes to Infrastructure Investor sister platform IIassets.com were led by a $446.39 million Western European energy deal, with a total deal flow of just over $1.5 billion across all sectors. While the energy sector led in terms of value, it was renewables that again led by volume, with eight of 13 deals occurring in that subsector. 

Energy | Total deal flow = $711.39 million 

Out front for the week was the financial close of the Porvoo Combined Heat and Power Plant Project , which closed on 16 March with signing of an agreement with Kilpilahti Power Plant (KPP) for the refurbishment of the combined heat and power plant. The European Investment Bank led underwriting on a €397 million ($443.04 million), 18-year term loan with a commitment of €175 million, alongside the Nordic Investment Bank's (NIB) €80 million, ING Group's €63.4 million, and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Nordea Bank, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), and Unicredit SpA's commitments of €19.65 million each. Legal advising in the transaction was provided by Castren & Snellman and Krogerus. Veolia Services Suomi Oy will reportedly enter into a 20-year operations and maintenance contract with KPP. Veolia is 40 percent owner of the project alongside Neste (40 percent) and Borealis Infrastructure (20 percent). 

Details also came in this week on a 3 March financial close for the Mazoon Petrogas Refinancing in Oman through a $265 million seven-year term loan led by HSBC. Bracewell advised the borrower and Herbert Smith Freehills advised the banking side on the transaction. Project sponsors include Petrogas International E&P Cooperatief UA (82 percent) and Petrogas (18 percent).

Renewables | Total deal flow = $702.88 million. 

Energy Capital Partners' (ECP) $300 million equity investment into Sunnova Energy Corp on 21 March led the week's reported renewables transactions. The company will utilise the funds to continue its growth in the residential US solar market through partnerships with local installers. Through the transaction, ECP joins investors Franklin Square Capital Partners, which are sub-advised by Blackstone's GSO Capital Partners LP and Triangle Peak Partners LP. Barclays served as sole financial adviser and placement agent to Sunnova.

Refinancing on a 45 MW Italian solar portfolio was closed on 15 March when HFV Cellini SRL reached an agreement on a $142.29 million, 13-year and six-month term loan. Underwriters included Banca IMI, Credit Agricole CIB, ING Group, and Unicredit SpA. The loan supports refinancing of existing indebtedness of eight special purpose vehicles owning 11 operating solar PV plants. Project sponsors include Ningbo Sunearth (32 percent), First Solar (22 percent), Solaria Energia y Medioambiente (18 percent), Trina Solar (11 percent), and F2i SGR SpA (undisclosed).

In Portugal, the  Parque Eolico da Serra Acquisition Refinancing closed on 17 March through issuance of four loans totaling $111.82 million to sponsor Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners. Banco BPI, Grupo Santander and ING Group provided the four loans of $82.19 million, $16.25 million, $7.81 million and $5.58 million to BIF Portugal SA for the 102MW solar project, which has been in operation since 2009.

PSEG Solar Source completed financing for its San Isabel Solar Project Acquisition from Juwi on 21 March. The 37.8MW DC facility will be renamed PSEG San Isabel Energy Centre as part of the transaction. The Colorado project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. Juwi will continue to act as engineering, procurement and construction contractor and operator. 

With a $48 million term loan from National Australia Bank, sPower reached financial close for its four self-owned and operated UK solar parks on 21 March. The parks are currently in the construction phase, and once completed will have a total combined capacity of 33.5MW. 

sPower also closed financing of its 57MW Sandstone Solar Project in Arizona on 18 March with two loans totalling $34 million from Grupo Santander ($15.5 million for the first loan and $1.5 million for the second) and Rabobank ($14 million for the first loan, $3 million for the second). Both loans have a tenor of 6 years and five months.  

John Laing Environmental Assets Group completed financing on its Pylle Southern Solar Park Acquisition in the UK on 17 March for $8.77 million. The 4.99MW plant entered operations in December last year. 

With advisement from Watson Farley & Williams, Lightsource Renewable Energy Holdings reached financial close on its Queen Elizabeth II 16 Solar PV Plants Project on 21 March. RBS provided senior financing on the transaction, and AMP Capital provided mezzanine financing with details undisclosed at this time.  

Social Infrastructure | Total deal flow = $168.14 million 

Details came in this week on the 1 February closure of eQ Care's EPI Healthcare I Portfolio Acquisition from Northern Horizon Capital for $168.14 million. The portfolio includes 27 nursing home assets across Finland with total lettable area of nearly 50,000 square metres.

Transport | Total deal flow = $150 million 

The City of West Lafayette and the Purdue University Joint Board reached financial close on the $150 million State Street Corridor Redevelopment PPP Project on 16 March. The Plenary Group-sponsored project includes improvements on Airport Road from US 231 to State Street and McCormick Road from State Street to Stadium Avenue. Also included in the scope is turning a former highway into a two-way street with widened sidewalks and bicycle lanes, transit stops, lighting, landscaping, and public spaces and art. The Plenary Roads State Street consortium led by Plenary Group and including developers Janssen & Spaans Engineering and Rieth-Riley Construction will be responsible for financing, designing and constructing the project, and for maintaining the pavement for a 22-year period following project completion. 

It was reported this week that Hochteif, advised by Renzenbrink & Partner, reached financial close on 29 February of the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in Herrentunnel in Germany for an undisclosed amount, making it 100 percent owner in the project. Herrentunnel is a 1-km planned toll road that will be financed and built by Hochteif, who will operate the tunnel until 2035 before handing it over to the Hanseatic City of Lubeck.