One of the world’s largest offshore wind projects, the 402-megawatt (MW) Dudgeon offshore wind farm in the U.K., announced the signing and pricing of privately placed notes for the refinancing of the project’s existing non-recourse project debt, with financial close expected next week. The original financing for Dudgeon was successfully closed in May 2016.
The refinanced debt consists of approximately GBP1.27 billion ($1.77 billion) in fully-amortizing senior-term loans, comprising around GBP561 million in commercial debt and a GBP706 million private placement of senior secured notes, maturing in June 2032.
Both tranches were oversubscribed, reflecting strong credit features and investor interest. The commercial tranche will be fixed upon the financial close of the transaction and execution of interest rate hedging.
Dudgeon is developed and operated by Equinor (35 percent), formerly known as Statoil; Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar (35 percent); and Chinese conglomerate - China Resources Group (30 percent).
Dudgeon started operations as scheduled in October 2017. It was one of the first U.K. offshore wind projects to be awarded an investment contract under the U.K. government’s ‘Contract for Difference’ (CfD) scheme, in May 2014, and the first CfD offshore wind project to obtain financing, in May 2016.
“Dudgeon is a unique project with strong operational performance,” said Beate Myking, Chair and Director of Dudgeon Offshore Wind Limited. “The excellent collaboration with our partners and advisors has enabled the successful refinancing. The A- (EXP) credit rating and investors’ keen interest further underpins the market confidence in Dudgeon and is strong evidence of Equinor’s competence and capacity to successfully develop and operate offshore wind farms.“
The 402 MW Dudgeon offshore wind farm is located 32 kilometers off the Norfolk coast in England. It produces 1.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity annually, the combined output of 67 wind turbines, sufficient to power an estimated 410,000 U.K. homes and displace 893,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.