EUR 1.6Bn Merkur OWF Project Moves Towards Construction

The 396MW Merkur offshore wind project has reached financial close and is now moving into the construction phase.

Illustration (Image: DEME)

Merkur is a construction-ready wind farm located approximately 45km north of the islands of Borkum, Germany, in the North Sea. It will consist of 66 turbines and will generate approximately 1,750 GWh annually, once complete.

The construction will start immediately and will be undertaken by DEME’s offshore marine construction specialist, GeoSea. The project will feature Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbines, representing the first large-scale commercial deployment of GE’s offshore wind turbine in Europe.

A total capital investment of some EUR 1.6 billion was raised from equity investors and bank lenders on a non-recourse project financing basis. Close to EUR 500 million in equity was provided by a consortium of five sponsors comprising Partners Group‎, InfraRed Capital Partners, DEME Concessions Wind, GE Energy Financial Services, and L’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (ADEME).

A group of ten leading international and local banks committed approximately EUR 1.2 billion of senior secured debt to the project. The lenders’ group comprises KfW Mittelstandsbank, under the umbrella of its German Offshore Wind Programme, as well as nine commercial lenders including: ABN Amro, Commerzbank (Modelling and Tax Bank), Deutsche Bank (Account Bank, Facility & Security Agent, Joint Hedge Coordinator as well as Sole Book Runner); KfW IPEX (Technical Bank and Markets Bank); Natixis; Rabobank (Insurance Bank); SEB (KFW Applicant Bank); SMBC and Société Générale (Documentation Bank and Joint Hedge Coordinator).