New partnership heralds green light for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm
30 Oct, 2015
  • Four-way international partnership secures £1.5 billion UK renewable energy project
  • Significant boost to UK economy creating nearly 800 jobs
  • Project can generate enough clean energy for up to 336,000 homes1)

RWE Innogy has today (30th October) announced three new project partners for Galloper Wind Farm Ltd (GWFL). UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), Siemens Financial Services and Macquarie Capital, join RWE Innogy in becoming 25% joint equity partners of the 336MW Galloper Offshore wind project. Combining the expertise and experience of all four companies, the deal will enable construction of the project off the coast of Suffolk, to commence in November 2015. The debt financing for GWFL was also closed. A consortium of 12 commercial banks and the European Investment Bank2) provides the £1.37 billion debt facilities. BNP Paribas acted as financial advisor to the project.

The project’s go ahead is set to create around 700 jobs during construction and around 90 jobs once operational.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: “This is fantastic news for the region and the whole of the UK, reflecting the fact that we are open for business and the best place in the world to invest in offshore wind. This milestone shows how the UK’s offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength.”

Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of many months of successful negotiations with our partners and investors and shows that the UK is still a strong market for offshore renewables. Siemens, as well as becoming a project partner will also, through their technical division, support key aspects of the project including turbines, turbine installation and maintenance support. We welcome GIB, with their experience of supporting renewables ventures and their substantial knowledge of offshore wind financing, back to another offshore partnership, their first ever equity investment being a stake in our Rhyl Flats project. Macquarie Capital bring considerable international business and finance acumen as well as a strong track record advising and investing in infrastructure and energy projects globally. I look forward to working together to utilise our collective experience and expertise to realise the successful construction of Galloper wind farm.”

As part of the overall partnership agreement, Siemens will supply and install 56, six megawatt turbines for the GWFL project and deliver a 15 year maintenance contract.

Wolfgang Bischoff, Head of Energy Finance EMEA at Siemens Financial Services said: “Again we will work alongside some of the offshore wind industry’s most experienced players on a project that will make a significant contribution to the UK’s renewable energy goals. Achieving financial close quickly was an essential component for Galloper to remain on-track in regards to construction as well as becoming operational in time to qualify from the government’s Renewable Obligation Certificate subsidies. The speed in which it was achieved owes much to the hard work of our project partners, as well as the strong market confidence in Siemens’ technical and financial experience in this sector.”

The Green Investment Bank, which was created by the UK Government, its sole shareholder, continues its purpose to accelerate the UK’s transition to a greener, stronger economy with this latest partnership, which is the UK’s first pre-construction, offshore wind project, finance deal.

Ed Northam, Head of Investment Banking, UK Green Investment Bank, said:

“This is another significant milestone in the development of the UK offshore wind industry in a year that has already seen two major projects come online and construction commence on another. The transaction reinforces our relationship with RWE and further highlights the impressive list of companies that are investing in the sector. It is the second investment in offshore wind that GIB has made at FID in the space of six months, demonstrating the role that we continue to play in making sure that complex but important green infrastructure projects can proceed.”

Macquarie Capital, the principal investment, advisory and capital markets arm of Macquarie Group, furthers its ongoing interest in the European renewables market following today’s announcement.

Mark Dooley, Head of Infrastructure, Utilities and Renewables, Macquarie Capital Europe said: Macquarie Capital is delighted to partner with RWE Innogy, Siemens and GIB on Galloper Offshore Wind project. This investment demonstrates our commitment to the European offshore wind sector as part of our strategy to invest alongside clients in energy and infrastructure transactions.

Mark Muldowney, Managing Director, Energy & Infrastructure, BNP Paribas said “The strong support of the financial markets for the Galloper project demonstrates the depth and capacity of the market for well-structured deals with respected sponsors.”

The Galloper project which will be located close to its existing sister project Greater Gabbard off the Suffolk coast, was awarded development rights by The Crown Estate in May 2010 and will commence operations by March 2018.