Mott MacDonald provides financing expertise to wind farm in Cumbria

27 February 2017 Consultancy.uk

Offshore Partners Walney Holdco has hired Mott MacDonald to provided technical due diligence for the refinancing of its Walney offshore wind farm financing. As part of the engagement, a new financing deal, with a lower interest rate, was recently closed.

The Walney offshore wind farm, located 14 km west of Walney Island off the coast of Cumbria, opened in 2012. The wind farm has a capacity of 367 MW, generating enough electricity to power around 325,000 households. The windfarm is owned by a number of stakeholders, including DONG Energy (50.1%), PGGM and Ampere Equity Fund (24.8%) and SSE (25.1%).

One of the minority parties that funded the project, Offshore Partners Walney Holdco (OHW), hired Mott MacDonald to provided technical due diligence for the refinancing of its debt in relation to the project. Interest rates have, since the closing of the deal finances, decreased considerably across Europe; in a bid to leverage the lower cost of capital OHW successfully refinanced its portion of debt invested in the project. Mott MacDonald advised on the transaction and will play an ongoing role as it continues to monitor operations at the Walney offshore wind farm.

Wind farm in Cumbria

Mott MacDonald has worked on the project since 2012, when it provided lenders’ technical advisor to OPW during the project's original financing. Nigel Deane a Project Director at the firm says, “Our continuous involvement in the Walney scheme has allowed us to provide effective and timely support to the lenders during all stages of the project. Our operational monitoring expertise in projects that involve public-private partnerships provides our clients with total confidence that their infrastructure investments are secure for the long-term.”

Steve Read from EcoGen, who act as commercial and financial managers on the scheme, adds: “It has been a pleasure to work with Mott MacDonald on this refinancing and in their ongoing operational monitoring role on behalf of the lenders. Their thorough approach has been vital in ensuring that the complex technical matters that come with a project such as this have been covered in a practical way so that the lenders and shareholders can fully understand the risks involved.”

Engineering and consulting firm Mott MacDonald has provided technical due diligence on a number of wind farm projects in recent months, including the Gobi Desert wind farm and the Gori wind farm.

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