All Good at Hai Long Project, Partners Say as Question Marks Arise Amid Yunlin Issues

Hai Long Offshore Wind, a consortium comprising Northland Power, Yushan Energy, and Japan’s Mitsui & Co., says it is actively working towards reaching the financial close, with a majority of the project financing to be provided by international financial institutions, in addition to the shareholders’ own funds, while the remainder is expected to be loaned by local financial institutions.

The Hai Long consortium issued a press release amid local reports that the Yunlin offshore wind project is now facing financial issues after mounting cost overruns as the offshore wind farm encountered delays due to construction challenges and the pandemic.

Taiwan News writes that the banks whose financing the Yunlin project is using face credit risk as the consortium behind the offshore wind farm is seeking to cut its debt by TWD 10 billion (approximately EUR 304 million).

This has further sparked a conversation within the industry, and beyond, on how it will affect the upcoming projects and their financing, with all eyes now on Hai Long offshore wind farm which is moving towards financial close.

According to IJGlobal‘s sources, the situation with the Yunlin project might cause lender to ‘raise shields’ since these kinds of setbacks to a project of that size are “likely to have a cascading impact”. How the market will roll out as of now on will partly also depend on how the upcoming Hail Long project gathers lenders and avoids and/or addresses project delays, according to one of IJGlobal‘s sources.

In its latest press release, the Hail Long consortium says it is “very confident in reaching finance close and the construction of the wind farm will be completed on schedule”.

The Hai Long partners announced that, in addition to each of their own funds, a majority of the project financing will be provided by international financial institutions, with whom the negotiations are progressing smoothly.

“The remainder of the project financing is expected to be loaned by local financial institutions, as some banks are still under careful evaluation, Hai Long will continue to work towards reaching our goal”, the consortium states.

Hai Long Offshore Wind further noted that they expect to greatly reduce the exposure of financial institutions, to the percentage which will be the highest in Taiwan’s offshore wind industry, since the vast majority of the total project finance funds will be backed up by the Export Credit Agency (ECA).

“Therefore, we are very confident of reaching finance close”, the consortium underlined.

Also, according to the consortium, the agreement recently signed between Northland and Gentari symbolises the confidence of international energy giants in the project and will increase the security for the Taiwan offshore wind projects to be built and operational. 

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As reported in December 2022, Northland Power and Gentari International Renewables (Gentari) have agreed that Gentari will acquire 49 per cent of Northland’s ownership interest in the Hai Long offshore wind project, which will result in Gentari holding a 29.4 per cent indirect equity interest in the project.

The transaction is expected to be completed after the project reaches financial close.

The 1,044 MW Hai Long development will comprise two offshore wind farms that will be developed in three stages, with Hai Long 2 split into two phases: the 300 MW Hai Long 2a and the 232 MW Hai Long 2b. Hai Long 3 will have an installed capacity of 512 MW.

The construction of the offshore wind farms, located some 50 kilometres off the coast of Changhua county in water depths of between 35 and 55 metres, is expected to begin in 2024.

Planned to be fully commissioned in 2025, the Hai Long offshore wind project is expected to power 1.55 million households in Taiwan with its 73 Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD wind turbines.

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Photo: Illustration; Deutsche Bucht Offshore Wind Farm; Photo source: Northland Power