Partners Group close to signing Aussie wind project loan

07 August 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform is on the cusp of finalising a loan for the 150MW Bango wind project in New South Wales.

 

Benjamin Haan, partner and head of private infrastructure at Partners Group – a backer of Grassroots – told the Infrastructure Investors Forum Australia in Sydney yesterday that the deal would reach financial close this week. 

 

Grassroots has chosen four banks to finance the Bango wind project, as SparkSpread first reported on July 12.

 

The lenders include Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Overseas Chinese Banking Corp. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., the sources said. They did not reveal the name of the fourth, but said it is an Australian bank.

 

ANZ is financial advisor on the project, but it is not lending.

 

The sponsors held preliminary discussions with lenders early this year, as SparkSpread reported on Jan 29.

 

Bango is one of eight projects that last year obtained a power purchase agreement from Australian government utility Snowy Hydro. It is the third to have successfully obtained financing.

 

The other projects have struggled with a mix of low PPA prices, high EPC prices and connection issues.

 

High quality

Also speaking at the conference was Snowy Hydro Chief Commercial Officer Gordon Wymer, who said that all of the eight projects were of high quality and that he is relaxed about the time it is taking to finance them.

 

Bango was scheduled to start construction before the end of the Australian financial year in June, according to the project’s website. It is set to take 18 months to complete.

 

Switzerland’s Partners’ Group and CWP Renewables announced the formation of Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform last May.

 

Partners Group agreed to invest AUD 700m (USD 476m) in Grassroots in order to build out CWP’s entire renewable energy project portfolio. It has large scale wind, solar and battery projects in New South Wales with a combined capacity of more than 1.3GW.

 

The portfolio includes Bango and the Crudine Ridge and Sapphire wind projects.

 

ANZ advised on the sale and financing of Crudine Ridge and is also advising on adding battery storage and solar to Sapphire, as first reported by SparkSpread on Feb. 11. 2018.

 

Read more