Firms: Norton Rose Fulbright (lenders – Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Export Development Canada); Herbert Smith Freehills (project company)
Deal: The financing of the 240MW Ararat wind farm in Victoria.
Value: $276 million
Area: Banking and Finance
Key players: The deal was led by Norton Rose Fulbright Melbourne projects partner Jo Crew and Sydney-based global head of energy Simon Currie (pictured). Special counsel Joanna Taylor, senior associate Claire Whitney and associate Aaron Mundy also worked on this deal.
The HSF team was led by partner Joel Rennie, who was supported by Miles Wadley, Rupert Baker, Rachael Le Tessier and Lisa Soo on the finance side. Partners Toby Anderson, David Ryan and Tim Power assisted on the projects, corporate and real estate aspects of the transaction and were supported by Peter Davis, Kristen Percy, Julia Orbach and Hannah Stevens.
Deal significance: The lenders are financing what is one of Australia’s largest locally developed wind farms. The equity investors to the project are RES Australia, GE, OP Trust and Partners Group.
The project benefits from a feed-in-tariff from the Australian Capital Territory for part of its output, with the remaining output being uncontracted at close, according to a statement from Norton Rose Fulbright.
This is the first wind farm to be project financed on a partially merchant basis in Australia, and is the first greenfield wind farm financed in Australia by Export Development Canada, the Canadian export credit agency.
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