Linklaters advises the lenders in a €170m financing of the world's first and largest baseload renewable energy power plant using hydrogen technology in French Guiana (CEOG Project) involving Meridiam, HDF and SARA.

The project is the world's first and largest baseload renewable energy power plant using hydrogen technology and is set to provide year-round supply for the equivalent of 10,000 homes in Guiana 24 hours a day and prefigures the future of renewable energies by eliminating their intermittency through energy storage. 

Combining a photovoltaic plant and mass storage of energy through a hydrogen chain, CEOG is the alternative to a classic diesel power plant as it only uses solar energy and water, and produces electricity and steam only thus avoiding greenhouse gases, noise and particles. 

Siemens Energy SAS and Siemens Energy Global GmbH & CO. KG will be acting as the constructor, with a targeted commissioning date scheduled for April 2024. The operation phase will then last for a period of 25 years secured with a long-term power purchase agreement with EDF SEI as offtaker. 

The complex hybrid financing comprising long term senior debt, equity bridge loan, tax credit bridge loan and debt service credit facility is made available by development banks and leading commercial banks (Agence Française de Développement, Bpifrance, European Investment Bank, BNP Paribas, Crédit Industriel et Commercial and SMBC Bank International PLC). The project also benefits from ADEME subsidies.

The Sponsors were advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP with a team led by partner Michaël Armandou and included senior associate Antoine Bouzanquet, associate Kenza Alexandra Bentaibi and Jules Soboul while associate Virgile Chanel assisted on public-law related matters.

The lenders were advised by Linklaters LLP as lenders’ global legal adviser with a team comprising Darko Adamovic (partner), Romain Marchand (managing associate), Noémie Lisbonis Boyer and Fairuz Ben Lahcen (associates) with respect to the project contracts and financing of the project, Pierre Guillot (partner) and Sandra Hoballah Campus (associate) on public law / state aid aspects and Cyril Boussion (partner) and Philippe Ludwig (associate) for tax matters. 

The European Investment Bank was advised by Allen & Overy LLP with partner Driss Bererhi and associate Zineb Bennis.