Financial close for 3rd phase of world’s biggest offshore wind farm

Renewables

United Kingdom Equinor and SSE, the owners of the Dogger Bank wind farm, informed that the third phase of the project, Dogger Bank C, has reached financial close.

The terms reached are among the best ever for a construction offshore wind project in the United Kingdom.

The total senior debt facilities amount to GBP 2.5 billion, plus ancillary facilities totaling GBP 0.4 billion. Dogger Bank C is being project financed with approximately 70% gearing for generation assets. Gearing on the transmission facilities is approximately 90% in preparation for the sale of Offshore Electricity Transmission (OFTO) after construction.

Despite the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the macroeconomic environment, Dogger Bank C was able to secure highly competitive terms thanks to the strong interest from lenders. The final group of lenders, which consists of 28 banks and three export credit agencies, includes experienced sector lenders, many of whom are relationship lenders to both SSE and Equinor. The majority of lenders were the same as they were for Dogger Bank A and B.

Equinor and SSE announced earlier this month that Eni has agreed to buy a 20 percent (10 percent each) stake in Dogger Bank C. Extended partner alignment will allow for additional synergies during the construction and operation phases of the Dogger Bank wind farm.

Eni will enter the asset as of the financial close of the project financing. The farm down transaction is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory and lender approvals, as well as customary purchase price adjustments. Following the completion of the transaction, the new overall shareholding in Dogger Bank C will be SSE Renewables (40 percent), Equinor (40 percent), and Eni (40 percent) (20 percent ).

The Dogger Bank wind farm will help the UK Government meet its ambitious renewables targets by generating renewable electricity for British homes, while also creating jobs and attracting significant investment to the country. The project is being constructed in three 1.2 GW phases, with Dogger Bank C being the third. Dogger Bank C will require approximately GBP 3 billion in total capital expenditure, including capex for the offshore transmission station (OFTO).

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