Linklaters advises on the largest offshore wind transaction financed in Asia Pacific

  • The largest offshore wind transaction financed in Asia Pacific
  • Financing involved a consortium of 19 international and local Taiwanese banks and three export credit agencies
  • A range of innovative structures and approaches were used to accommodate a diverse finance group which are likely to set the benchmark for future financing in the region
Linklaters has advised wpd AG on the EUR 2.7bn project financing of the 640MW offshore wind farm project in Taiwan, the largest offshore wind project financing to come to market in Asia Pacific to date.
 
The financing group comprised a total of 19 international and local Taiwanese banks and three export credit agencies from Denmark (EKF), Germany (Euler Hermes) and the Netherlands (Atradius). The bank financing group is made of four Taiwanese banks (Cathay United Bank, CTBC Bank, E.SUN Bank, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank) and 15 international banks (BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, ING Bank, KfW-IPEX Bank, Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, Natixis, OCBC, Siemens Bank, Société Générale, Standard Chartered Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation).
 
The project, situated eight kilometres off the west coast of Taiwan, will consist of 80 turbines of the 8MW class provided by Siemens Gamesa. It is one of the first projects to be developed under the new regulatory regime for the development of the offshore wind industry in Taiwan and is supported by a 20-year feed-in-tariff awarded by the Taiwanese Government in April 2018. The transaction also involved a divestment by wpd AG of a minority interest in the project to a Japanese consortium involving Sojitz Corp, The Chugoku Electric Power Co. Inc., Chudenko Corporation, Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc. and JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation.
 
Linklaters’ involvement in the transaction consolidates the firm’s leading position in the project financing of large scale offshore wind projects. The team was led by partner James McLaren in Hong Kong, together with partners Thomas Schulz in Berlin and Stephen Le Vesconte in Paris, with support from a large team across the firm including senior associates Ying Fu, Jia-Fang Lee and Tristan Kelly.
 
Partner and Head of Linklaters’ Asia Green Energy Group, James McLaren commented:
 
"We are delighted to have supported key client wpd AG on the project financing of the Yunlin project. The transaction involved a range of innovative structures and approaches required to accommodate a diverse finance group and is one of the largest and most complex offshore wind project financings which has come to market. We expect many of the features developed for the financing will set a benchmark for future offshore wind financings in Taiwan and elsewhere in the region and may well become a key reference point for the Asia Pacific project financing market more generally."
 
Partner, Thomas Schulz commented:
 
"Linklaters has worked on the development of some of the largest and most complex wind projects in the sector worldwide, including the largest offshore wind farms in Germany and the UK – and now Asia."
Partner, Stephen Le Vesconte commented:
 
"Taiwan continues to be a focus of the internationalisation of the offshore wind industry and we are very pleased to have supported on the Yunlin project which represents another key milestone in the development of the sector outside of Europe. Our genuinely global team approach to the sector has helped deliver a financing model which we expect to provide an important model for future offshore wind projects in new markets."
Linklaters has extensive experience in advising both sponsors and lenders on project finance transactions in the renewable energy sector. The firm has recently acted for the common lenders and ECAs on the Formosa 1 offshore wind project in Taiwan – the country’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm project – and is currently advising on a number of other offshore wind projects in new markets across Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia as well as France and in the US.