RPC closes €200m refinancing despite energy crunch
04 May 2023 – LONDON
Renewable Power Capital (RPC) has closed a refinancing package of almost €200m covering the Rustari, Puutikankangas, and Merkkikallio onshore wind farms in Finland. This new long-term package replaces an existing short-term construction loan and ensures that there is stable financing in place for the projects’ lifetimes.
RPC has successfully secured this refinancing at a time when renewables projects are being impacted by high inflation and supply-chain pressures, which is testament to its reputation as a secure, long-term investor.
Kommunalkredit Austria acted as Mandated Lead Arranger & Structuring Bank, with AP Pension Livsforsikringsaktieselskab acting as Lender, and Euler Hermes as the German Export Credit Agency to guarantee part of the debt. This is the first time Euler Hermes has supported the long-term refinancing of a construction bridge debt package.
In March, RPC announced that it had taken over the operation of the Rustari, Puutikankangas, and Merkkikallio wind farms from OX2, marking its shift from investor to operator. The wind farms are all operational and have a combined installed capacity of 171MW.
RPC was advised by Augusta & Co, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Roschier on this deal. The lenders were supported by DLA Piper and Natural Power, with EY acting as tax and model audit.
Sylvain Delion, Head of Structured Finance at Renewable Power Capital, said: “That this agreement has been closed at a time of such uncertainty in financial markets is significant not only because it testifies to the skills and expertise of RPC’s team, but also as it provides much-needed certainty for projects by securing a long- term, stable financing structure. This ensures that green electricity is delivered to the grid for the benefit of Finnish households.”
Romane Guitard, Managing Director at Augusta & Co, commented: “We are delighted to have supported RPC with the refinancing of their first Nordic onshore wind portfolio. We have been impressed by the sophistication of the RPC team, their innovative approach, and their excellent reputation in the market. After a significant market testing exercise, we brought together a novel combination of three distinct pools of capital, including ECA, commercial banks, and institutional debt funds to deliver on RPC’s return and flexibility requirements in a challenging financing environment. This transaction again demonstrates our approach to develop and execute bespoke structuring solutions in ways that best serve our clients.”
Rasmus Cederholm, CIO at AP Pension, said: “We are proud to support RPC and partner up with Kommunalkredit Austria in this exciting transaction. We are very satisfied that the €50 million loan from AP Pension can help ensure that green energy is being brought out to a large number of people. For AP Pension it’s very important that our investments contribute to the green transition. This loan is a good example of that.”
Bernd Fislage, CEO of Kommunalkredit, said: “This joint effort underlines the importance of international cooperation and project realisation of sustainable infrastructure. Together with our aforementioned partners we have successfully closed another milestone transaction in the renewable sector. We will keep on actively contributing to the energy turnaround.”
Notes to Editors
The exact value of the refinancing is €197.4m.
The Puutikankangas wind farm, in the municipality of Sievi in the North Ostrobothnia region, and the Rustari wind farm, in Kurikka city in the region of South Ostrobothnia, comprise 8 turbines each. Each has an installed capacity of 44MW.
Rustari has an estimated yearly production of about 160GWh, which corresponds to the electricity consumption of around 32,000 households. Puutikankangas has an estimated yearly production of about 150GWh, which equates to the electricity consumption of about 30,000 households.
The Merkkikallio wind farm transfer from OX2 was announced on 17 February 2023. Merkkikallio is in the city of Vaasa. The estimated production of the 15-turbine windfarm is 280GWh, which corresponds to the electricity consumption of around 56,000 households. It has an installed capacity of 82.5MW.
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