Aus & NZ: John Laing buying 255MW Australian solar project

27 September 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

John Laing is buying a majority stake in Canberra-based developer Maoneng’s 255 MWp Sunraysia solar project, market sources have told Inframation‘s sister title SparkSpread.

The UK infrastructure investor is buying 90.1% of the project, according to one source, with the developer retaining a long-term minority holding.

The project is scheduled to reach financial close in the next few days.

Rothschild is advising Maoneng on the equity sale and debt raising.

The bank group has changed since a seven-strong group was formed in April.

NORD/LB, ING Group, Mizuho, Bank of China and National Australia Bank have all obtained credit approval and are on the verge of closing an AUD240 million ($174 million) debt facility.

A source declined comment on the tenor and pricing of the facility.

In January, Maoneng initiated an equity sale and debt raising after signing a power purchase agreement with the University of New South Wales, as first reported by SparkSpread on Jan. 16.

UNSW will buy a quarter of the wind farm’s output, making the university fully reliant on solar power. Origin Energy will provide back-up power.

In December, Maoeng also announced that it had agreed to supply 800,000 MWh of power to AGL Energy for 15 years from Sunraysia and another Maoneng project, Midgar.

The 300 MW contract will partially replace AGL’s Liddell 2 GW coal-fired power plant, which will retire in 2022.

The company has lined up Decmil Australia as EPC contractor for Sunraysia.

Decmil will be cleared to break ground on the project as soon as it has reached financial close.

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