Taiwanese offshore wind project approaches close

22 March 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

German wind developer WPD is scheduled to reach financial close on the 360MW first phase of its Yunlin offshore wind project at the end of May, according to market sources.

The project had been due to reach financial close this month but was delayed because a decision on the builder of the turbine foundations was pushed back.

A group of banks has largely been settled to finance the TWD 85bn (USD 2.7bn) facility, as first reported by our sister publication SparkSpread.

This list of commercial banks includes the members of the bank club on the last year’s Formosa 1 offshore wind financing in Taiwan, comprising Cathay United Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, KGI Bank, ANZ Banking Group, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, DBS Bank, ING Bank, MUFG Bank and Société Générale, as well as Siemens Financial Services, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Bank of Taiwan, Mizuho Bank, Natixis and Standard Chartered.

The facility is due to be 50% covered by insurance from Denmark’s EKF, the U.K.’s Hermes and, possibly, the Netherlands’ Atradius.

The tenor of the TWD 75bn loan package is 18 years.

The uncovered portion of the debt is priced at 235 basis points over LIBOR, while the covered portion is priced at 100 basis points over LIBOR.

WPD is running a concurrent equity sale of 49% of Yunlin. Earlier this year, John Laing and Itochu, CDPQ and OMERS filed final bids in that process.

The equity process may close before the debt.

Last July, WPD issued a request for proposals to banks seeking to finance the project, as first reported by SparkSpread.

Banks were invited to respond by the end of August.

WPD is being advised on the debt raising by SMBC and Bank of Taiwan, while E-Sun is acting as local advisor. WPD is self-advising in the equity sale.

Linklaters is sponsor’s counsel, while White & Case is lenders’ counsel. 

The project will be powered by Siemens turbines.

The 360MW first phase of Yunlin is due to be commissioned in 2020, while a 348MW second phase is due to be commissioned in 2021.

 

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