Allen & Overy acts in €2.8bn European offshore wind farm financing

Allen & Overy has acted for the lenders consortium in a project to develop a 600MW offshore wind farm, which, with a total value of €2.8bn (£2.2bn), is said to be the largest ever European offshore wind financing. The renewable energy generated through Project Gemini will be enough to meet the needs of 785,000 households and will reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands significantly.

More than 22 parties were involved in the project, including 12 commercial creditors, four public financial institutions, one pension fund and an equity consortium. Gemini is owned by a consortium consisting of Northland Power (60 per cent), Siemens Financial Services (20 per cent), Van Oord Dredging (10 per cent) and Marine Contractors BV and NV HVC (10 per cent).

Allen & Overy acted for the lenders consortium with parties from North America, Asia and Europe, including ABN AMRO Bank NV; the Bank Of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ; BNP Paribas; Bank Of Montreal, London Branch; Caixabank SA; CIBC World Markets; Deutsche Bank AG; Export Development Canada; Natixis; Banco Santander SA NV; Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; the European Investment Bank; Euler Hermes; Delcredere Ducroire; and Eksport Kredit Fonden.

Approximately 70 per cent of the project’s required financing has been provided via €2bn of ‘non-recourse’ senior secured construction and term debt financing from 12 international commercial creditors, three export credit agencies and the European Investment Bank. This type of financing requires a strong project contract structure and entails a comprehensive due diligence process. Reflecting the strength of the project, the Gemini senior financing was oversubscribed and attracted a number of institutions that have not previously lent to the offshore wind sector.

The Allen & Overy team was led by partner Werner Runge, head of the energy practice in the Netherlands, and counsel Frédérique Jacobse. Other team members were Jochem Spaans, Niels Molenaar, Marinus Winters, Kathelijn Noordzij, Willem van der Vossen, IJsbrand de Jong and Marjolein Pichel from the law firm’s projects, banking and regulated markets practices.