Offshore Partners Walney Restructures Debt

Offshore Partners Walney Holdco Limited (OPW), minority shareholder in the Walney offshore wind farm located directly off the coast of Cumbria in north west England, has successfully restructured its debt facilities to enable access to more favourable interest rates in line with current market conditions.

Mott MacDonald provided technical due diligence during the refinancing and will now continue to monitor operations in an ongoing role.

Walney comprises 102 Siemens wind turbines with a total capacity of 367MW. ​The scheme, which commenced operations in 2012, produces enough electricity to power over 325,000 homes.

Mott MacDonald acted as lenders’ technical advisor to OPW during the project’s original financing in 2012 and during the operational phase. During this time, the consultancy provided guidance on several important aspects of the scheme including project agreements, operations and maintenance execution, export cable design and turbine technology.

Nigel Deane, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “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.”

The Walney offshore wind farm is located approximately 15km from the coastline of Walney Island in a north west to south-easterly direction covering an area of approximately 73 km2.

The wind farm consists of Walney 1 and Walney 2, each comprising 51 wind turbines.

The wind farm is owned by DONG Energy (50.1%), SSE (25.1%), and the remaining 24.8% is owned by OPW, a special purpose company owned by PGGM (60%) and Ampere, a renewable energy fund managed by fund manager DIF, and using commercial and financial asset manager EcoGen.

Steve Read from EcoGen, who act as commercial and financial managers on the scheme, said: “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.”

The title and the content of the original article was amended on Tuesday, 24 January, at 1 pm CET to include information that OPW was the entity which carried out debt restructuring.

Photo: Source: Mott MacDonald

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