Masdar-backed Dudgeon wind farm in $1.61bn refinancing deal

Masdar-backed Dudgeon wind farm in $1.61bn refinancing deal
Published: 19 December 2018 - 8:21 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

The owners of the 402-megawatt (MW) Dudgeon wind farm in Britain’s North Sea, including Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, have announced the signing of a hybrid refinancing deal.

The owners, who also include Equinor and China Resources Group, said the deal includes approximately £561 million ($711 million) of commercial bank debt and £706 million ($895 million) of senior secured notes privately placed with institutional investors, finally maturing in 2032.

Both tranches have been oversubscribed, underpinning strong investor interest. Financial close is expected next week. The original financing for Dudgeon was successfully closed in May 2016, a statement said.

The total refinanced debt consists of about £1.27 billion ($1.61 billion) in fully-amortising senior-term loans. The financing also includes about £150 million in ancillary facilities provided via commercial bank commitments.

Dudgeon is developed and operated by Equinor (35 percent), formerly known as Statoil, Masdar (35 percent) and Chinese conglomerate - China Resources Group (30 percent).

Dudgeon started operations, as scheduled, in October 2017. It was one of the first UK offshore wind projects to be awarded an investment contract under the UK government’s Contract for Difference scheme in May 2014, and the first CfD offshore wind project to obtain financing in May 2016.

"Dudgeon is a unique project with strong operational performance," said Beate Myking, chair and director of Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited. "The excellent collaboration with our partners and advisors has enabled the successful refinancing."

The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is located 32km off the Norfolk coast. It produces 1.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity annually, the combined output of 67 wind turbines, sufficient to power an estimated 410,000 UK homes and displace 893,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

"Our congratulations to all the parties involved in the successful refinancing of this iconic wind energy asset," said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar.

"This reconfirms the strong bankability of Dudgeon and further reflects the market appetite for large-scale assets which have a robust credit profile, transparent economics and are subject to stable regulatory environments."

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