Amsterdam Capital Partners B.V. (Amscap) is pleased to announce that the 396MW Merkur offshore wind project (Merkur) has confirmed financial close. Amscap acted as Financial Advisor to the project.
Close to EUR 500 million in equity was provided by a consortium of five sponsors comprising of Partners Group (on behalf of its clients), InfraRed Capital Partners, DEME Concessions Wind, GE Energy Financial Services and L’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (ADEME), acting in the name and on behalf of the French State.
A further EUR 1.2 billion in senior secured debt package was provided by a group of ten leading international and local banks consisting of ABN Amro, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, KfW IPEX, KfW Mittelstandsbank, Natixis, Rabobank, SEB, SMBC and Société Générale.
Michael van der Heijden, Managing Director of Amscap, stated “Merkur is another record breaking transaction in the offshore wind sector, and Amscap is very proud to have contributed to this success.”
Amscap has advised Merkur since April 2015, with Michael van der Heijden acting as the project director responsible for financing the project. Since then, Merkur was entirely reconfigured, including deploying a new turbine. Within 12 months, the project was restructured into an attractive investment opportunity for equity sponsors and a highly bankable financing proposition for lenders. Alexandra Nilsson, Director at Amscap, said “Restructuring the project allowed Merkur to attract a strong equity consortium. Equally important, getting the project right allowed us to place the EUR 1.2 billion non-recourse project finance package in a record breaking 4 months from debt launch to financial close”.
Merkur will be one of Germany’s largest wind farms, located approximately 45km north of the islands of Borkum, Germany, in the North Sea. Construction will be under a dual contract structure with GE supplying 66 Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbines and GeoSea, member of the DEME Group, as turnkey contractor for the entire balance of plant. Offshore foundations installation is expected to commence in August 2017, with project completion scheduled for March 2019. Once complete, Merkur will generate approximately 1,750 GWh annually, enough clean energy to power around 500,000 homes.