Case studies

NORD/LB arranges ECA-covered project  financing for 95MW Meenadreen Extension

NORD/LB has provided 17 years non-recourse project finance of EUR 125m for a major new wind farm development in the Republic of Ireland supported by EUR 65m of German Export Credit Agency cover.

The Meenadreen Extension wind farm in County Donegal will use 38 Nordex N90 turbines to provide over 255 gigawatt hours of electricity each year, enough to power 70,000 homes, and will also involve the construction of a new €11m substation which will contribute to strengthening Donegal's electricity network. The windfarm is owned by Energia Renewables - one of Ireland's leading electricity suppliers and a leading investor in the Irish renewable sector.

The transaction is one of Ireland's largest onshore wind projects with NORD/LB acting as sole structuring and arranging bank further strengthening NORD/LB's leading role in the Irish renewable market .

NORD/LB finances major wind park in Thuringia

NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank is financing the construction and subsequent operation of a wind farm in Rastenberg, Thuringia, for the German project development company wpd onshore GmbH & Co KG. This is one of the biggest wind farm projects ever financed by NORD/LB in the German onshore market.

wpd onshore GmbH & Co KG a wholly-owned subsidiary of wpd AG, Bremen, one of the most well-known wind farm planning and project development companies in Europe. The Rastenberg wind farm consists of 15 turbines manufactured by Vestas, twelve with a 2 megawatt (MW) capacity and three with a 3 MW capacity. The total installed capacity of the wind farm is 33 MW. The wind farm was jointly acquired by Thüga Erneuerbare Energien GmbH & Co. KG in Munich and ESWE Versorgungs AG in Wiesbaden.

For the financing, in addition to an equity bridge loan facility, a commercial loan facility has been provided by NORD/LB and a promotional loan by KfW-Förderbank. “With the Rastenberg wind park we are stepping up our already strong commitment to the renewable energies segment,” explained Eckhard Forst, who is on the Managing Board of NORD/LB. “We are benefiting from the pioneering work we did in this area two decades ago as we now possess unique expertise.”

NORD/LB finances “Krughütte” solar park in Saxony-Anhalt

NORD/LB has taken on the project financing for the “Krughütte” solar farm near Lutherstadt Eisleben in Saxony-Anhalt with a financing volume of approx. EUR 35 million.

The solar farm with a total installed capacity of around 30 megawatts (MW) was jointly designed by Parabel AG, Berlin, and SRU Solar AG in Berga, Saxony-Anhalt, and constructed in the record time of six weeks. A subsidiary of Parabel AG will also be responsible for the long-term operation of the solar farm, in which more than 121,000 polycrystalline solar modules manufactured by Trina Solar will be used. For the conversion into alternating current. approx. 1,400 inverters manufactured by Siemens and Danfoss will be used. The solar farm has been constructed on the approx. 100-hectare site of the former Krughütte mine where copper ore was mined in the 1970s. With the solar farm the energy demand of around 7,500 four-person households can be covered with renewable energy.

NORD/LB has structured and arranged the financing of the solar farm. For the refinancing, a refinancing loan was provided from the KfW-Förderbank’s “Renewable Energies” programme and a long-term loan tranche was provided by NORD/LB. The relevant contracts were signed by all of the parties in December.

“With this project we have once again demonstrated our core competence in the area of renewable energies,” said Dr. Hinrich Holm, who is on the Managing Board of NORD/LB. “We are particularly pleased that we have been able to support a project in our home market of Saxony-Anhalt in which a company from the region is also playing a key role.”

NORD/LB arranges financing for the biggest solar park in Europe to date: 90.4 MWp in Germany

NORD/LB has structured and arranged a non-recourse project senior debt financing of app. EUR 104 million to fund construction and operation of a PV plant ("poly- and monocrystalline") located near Briest, Brandenburg, Germany.

The overall solar park has a capacity of 90.4 megawatts (MW) (Total CAPEX: EUR 200 million) and was developed by Q-Cells SE, the German module manufacturer and developer, making it the largest open space solar power plant in Europe to date. Two thirds of the parks (ca. 60.1 MW) were acquired by Luxcara GmbH in the spring of 2011. The Sponsor, a well known Hamburg based asset management fund, specialised in the acquisition and management of photovoltaic assets in Europe, mandated NORD/LB and HSH Nordbank as joint MLAs to provide the commercial facilities for the acquisition of the project.

Financial Close was achieved in April 2012, while NORD/LB acted as Modelling, Technical and Insurance Bank and HSH Nordbank took the role of Facility & Security Agent and Documentation Bank.

Right from the start of the structuring process the MLAs were aiming to maximise funding from the KfW ("Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau") renewable energy program in the best interest of the customer. The all-in funding cost of the KfW tranche is currently roughly 2.00% lower than commercial funding rates. Final maturity of the loans is around 18 years from commissioning.

NORD/LB and HSH Nordbank were advised by Watson Farley Williams (legal), Evergy (technical), Marsh (insurance), and Deloitte (tax and financial model).

Heiko Ludwig, Head of Energy Origination Europe: "As a bank with a leading position in the field of Renewable Energy, I am of course delighted that we have been able to support such an important and strategic project for our client. For NORD/LB this was the second large scale PV project closed in the last 3 months and underlines our competence in and commitment to the Renewable Energy sector in Europe."

NORD/LB finances the "Turnow II" solar park in Brandenburg

NORD/LB has taken over the project financing for the "Turnow II" solar park in the municipality of Turnow-Preilack near Cottbus in the federal state of Brandenburg. This follows the bank's co-financing in 2009 already of the directly adjacent "Turnow I" solar park on the former "Lieberoser Heide" military exercise area.

The two parks together generate an aggregate output of over 70 megawatts (MW), making this the world's biggest conjoined thin-layer module complex, capable of covering the annual power consumption of more than 20,000 households.

Built on an area of around 50 hectares, equivalent to 70 soccer pitches, "Turnow II" is a photovoltaic power station with an output capacity of over 18 MW. One of the biggest challenges faced as part of the due diligence process was integrating this follow-on project into the already existing park infrastructure. juwi Solar GmbH, a company specialized in regenerative power plants and based in Wörrstadt/North Rhine-Westphalia, took on the function of general contractor with responsibility for the project's planning, logistics, site management and erection work; the company will also be running the complex as long-term operator. The project's financing was structured by the Structured Finance Team at NORD/LB. The solar park itself is equipped with around 230,000 thin-layer modules manufactured by First Solar GmbH and 24 central inverters built by SMA Technology AG. "Turnow II" will be delivering approximately 18.2 million kilowatt hours of environmentally friendly electricity per year.

The project involves an overall investment volume of around EUR 37 million. The outside capital comes in the form of a loan from KfW Förderbank and a long-term UmweltBank promissory note bond. The equity capital is provided by STAWAG Energie GmbH as investor. The loan agreements were signed shortly before Christmas.

"Having already been involved in the financing of Turnow I, we are pleased to be at the service of our customer again as reliable partner in this follow-on investment", said Eckhard Forst, member of the NORD/LB Managing Board. "The financing of this highly interesting project once again demonstrates our competence and leading role in the sphere of renewable energy."

NORD/LB accompanied innovative financing of a wind farm in the UK

NORD/LB has structured and realized the project financing for the construction and operation of a wind farm in Hyndburn, Lancashire/England with a project volume of around EUR 45 million. The wind farm has a capacity of 24.6 megawatts (MW), and its developer and operator is EnergieKontor AG.

When completed, the wind power facility will operate with twelve wind turbines of the 2 MW-class built by Repower, and is scheduled to go into operation in autumn 2012. By way of an innovation in the British market, NORD/LB structured a loan financed by the German KfW development bank amounting to EUR 10 million.

Since 1990, EnergieKontor AG has planned, financed and operated wind power facilities in Germany, Portugal and the UK, and offers these facilities as investments. Another of its focal activities is the project planning of offshore wind farms. Over 500 MW of installed onshore wind power output and an investment volume of around EUR 750 million make EnergieKontor AG one of the leading companies in Germany's wind energy sector.

Eckhard Forst, member of the NORD/LB Board of Management said: "NORD/LB is one of the world's leading banks in the sphere of renewable energies. Extensive expertise in the renewable energies sector and our competence in the areas of consulting and the structuring and realization of project financing enables us to provide our customers worldwide with optimal assistance and support."

NORD/LB engages in Offshore-Windfarm Financing "Global Tech I"

Together with German KfW IPEX-Bank, Belgian Dexia and French Société Générale, NORD/LB arranged and structured the financing of the North Sea–Windfarm “Global Tech I”.

Corresponding loan agreements were signed on 7th July 2011 by the European Investment Bank and a consortium of 16 international commercial banks. The total debt volume amounts to about EUR 1 billion, NORD/LB being involved with EUR 50 million.

The North Sea-windfarm "Global Tech I" is built in a 41 square kilometre area, about 180 kilometres from Bremerhaven’s shore. The first turbines are planned to be connected to the energy grid end of 2012, with full completion of construction in 2013. Once completed, the 80 wind turbines generate 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours per year of environmentally friendly energy .This allows for the full electricity supply of 445,000 households.

“We are pleased to be able to accompany this milestone project, “ said Eckhard Forst, Member of NORD/LB Managing Board. „NORD/LB finances renewable energy projects since the early nineties. We are very glad to contribute our extensive experience in wind energy for the first time to an offshore-wind-project.”

Responsible for the development, construction and operation of the wind farm is the project’s limited liability company Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH. Shareholders are the energy suppliers Stadtwerke München GmbH and HSE AG (Darmstadt), the European energy trading company EGL AG and the Esportes Offshore Beteiligungs GmbH. Further shareholders are the project development companies Norderland Projekt GmbH and Windreich AG.

NORD/LB structures financing to back Energia wind farm developments in Northern-Ireland

NORD/LB and Rabobank structured and financed for the company Energia - a member of Veridian Group - the construction and operation of wind farms "Crighshane and Chuch Hill" in Northern Ireland.

The total investment of 63 million pounds will be provided to 90% by long-term liabilities of the two banks. The project financing for the wind farm with an installed capacity of 51 megawatts (MW) has an 18 year term.

The 57 million pounds financing was structured by NORD/LB who was mandated as Debt Advisor in summer 2008. Based on the strong project fundamentals, NORD/LB underwrote 100% of the financing in spring 2010. Rabobank International joined the financing before financial close as Mandated Lead Arranger.

"We are very pleased with the vote of confidence from leading renewable lenders NORD/LB and Rabobank," said Peter Baillie, Managing Director Renewables, Energia, "We have been working closely with NORD/LB as debt advisor for the last two years to achieve this financing and we strongly recommend their expertise in the renewable sector."

Gerard Pieters, who lead the deal for NORD/LB said: “NORD/LB is one of the pioneers in wind power financing in the UK and we are delighted to have been able to advise Energia on this landmark financing. Our expertise and in-depth knowledge of all important renewable energy systems and support regimes in Europe enable us to provide a world-class service to our customers.“

Energia currently has over 300 MW of operating renewable generation in Ireland and will be increasing this by another 540 MW over the next 2 years to 840 MW, around 25% of Ireland's renewable power.

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