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WA wind farm proves interest in renewable energy

WA wind farm proves interest in renewable energy

Allens Arthur Robinson has advised the financier group behind the development, construction and operation of Western Australia's Collgar Wind Farm.The group was made up of ANZ, the…

Allens Arthur Robinson has advised the financier group behind the development, construction and operation of Western Australia's Collgar Wind Farm.

The group was made up of ANZ, the Com­monwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, WestLB, Westpac and Danish export cred­it agency EKF. Freehills and Minter Ellison also participated, with Freehills acting for the borrower and sponsor Investec, and Minters acting for eq­uity investors UBS International Infrastructure Fund and Retail Employees Superannuation Trust.

The 206 megawatt wind farm will provide clean, renewable electricity to the Western Aus­tralian power grid under a 15-year power and green credits purchase agreement with Synergy.

Primary challenges of the transaction includ­ed cross-border negotiations to try and resolve some unusual inter-creditor issues which arose from certain structural features of the financing.

Further, the financing successfully closed at the same time as institutional investors completed their acquisition of the project from sponsor Investec, raising additional challenges of closing Collgar's debt and equity arrangements simultaneously.

"Meeting the needs of both the debt and equity interests required precise timing, and ... the balancing of sometimes conflicting requirements between the parties," said Allens partner Phillip Cornwell.

"This transaction marks the increased inter­est of long-term investors in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors."

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