WFW Advises On Changfang and Xidao Project Financing

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised on the project financing of the Changfang and Xidao offshore wind projects in Taiwan.

The wind farm will be financed through a combination of equity and senior loans from a consortium of 25 international and Taiwan banks and financial institutions, as well as six export credit agencies.

According to WFW, the loans, which will be used to fund the construction stage of the projects, is the largest debt package raised in Taiwan’s offshore wind market to date.

The transaction included advising on multi-tranche, multi-currency financing arrangements, including cover provider-supported pieces, with an estimated debt of approximately USD 3 billion.

WFW also advised on the multi-contracting construction and operations strategy from a bankability perspective.

“This was a highly complex, multi-tranche financing at the forefront of the Taiwanese offshore wind market, which also included advising on construction and operations arrangements, as well as a challenging co-borrower structure involving the cross guaranteeing of financial liabilities,” said WFW Partner Evan Stergoulis.

“It is one of the first few, and the largest, Taiwanese offshore wind farm project financings to complete to date in this flourishing region for offshore wind. I’m delighted that we were able to use our cross-border network of offices to effectively advise and support our clients on successfully closing this ground-breaking transaction in one of the world’s most dynamic and developing offshore wind markets.”

The Changfang and Xidao projects, located 13-15km off the coast of Changhua County, will have a joint installed capacity of approximately 600MW on completion, comprising a total of 62 MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines.

Commissioning for the first phase of up to 100MW is scheduled for the end of 2021 and the second phase of up to 500MW is scheduled for the beginning of 2024.

CIP is the majority owner in the projects, while a minority stake is owned by the Taiwanese life insurance companies.

A few days ago, the projects reached financial close and started construction.

Photo: Illustration.