Asia’s first offshore wind farm project achieves financial close
Offshore wind power in Taiwan is emerging as a key success story in the growth of renewables in Asia
THE first offshore wind farm in Asia gets going with the successful closing of the financing for the 128MW Formosa 1 offshore wind project in Taiwan.
The project, which has a NT$18.70 billion (US$613 million) facility, including a guaranteed tranche by Denmark's export credit agency EKF, was sponsored by Macquarie Capital (50%), Orsted (35%) and Swancor (15%). This is the first utility-scale offshore wind farm project in Taiwan – one of the fastest growing markets for offshore wind.
The loan facility, which has a tenor of 16 years, was closed on June 8. The proceeds will be used towards the development of 20x6MW of capacity and refinancing of the debt raised for the 2x4MW capacity. Construction of the project is expected to be completed by late 2019.
Laurent Proutiere, senior country officer for Taiwan at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, says offshore wind power in Taiwan is emerging as a key success story in the growth of renewables in Asia.
The Taiwan government has ambitious plans to develop 5.5GW of offshore wind capacity by 2025. It conducted the first round of offshore wind capacity allocation in April 2018 in which several key international developers such as Orsted, Macquarie Capital, wpd, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, DGA-Mitsubishi, Northland Power and Yushan Energy, as well as local players, including China Steel and Swancor were allocated capacity. A second round of capacity allocation was concluded in June 2018.
Orsted, formerly Dong Energy, a Danish state majority-owned energy company, is the largest owner and operator of offshore wind capacity globally with over 3.8GW of operational offshore wind farms and a further 5GW under construction. Orsted was allocated 900MW in the first round of capacity allocation in Taiwan.
Macquarie Capital – and its managed funds – is one of the world's largest investors in renewable energy. Its support for renewable energy and clean technology is part of its broader commitment to infrastructure.
Swancor is the first local offshore wind power developer in Taiwan. The company is focused on chemical production and carbon fibre composite, both used in wind turbines.
A total of 11 banks participated in the facility with BNP Paribas acting as the financial adviser as well as mandated lead arrangers together with Cathay United Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Societe Generale, Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank, KGI Bank, ING Bank, DBS, ANZ, MUFG and Entie Commercial Bank.