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WFW advises lenders on refinancing of Deutsche Bucht offshore windfarm project2 June 2021

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised a consortium of leading German and international banks and financial institutions on the €935m refinancing of the Deutsche Bucht offshore windfarm project, on whose original project financing the firm also advised the lenders in 2017.

The 252 MW Deutsche Bucht is located in the German North Sea approximately 95km northwest of Borkum and was connected to the grid in 2019. Owned by Canadian energy company Northland Power Inc, it produces energy to supply approximately 178,000 households and has reduced CO2 emissions by over 360,000 tonnes per year. Deutsche Bucht was also one of the last wind farm projects to benefit from the statutory feed-in tariffs under the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) that expired in 2020.

The consortium comprised Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., The Norinchukin Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (London Branch), National Bank of Canada, Caixabank, S.A., The Korea Development Bank Headquarters (KDB Bank, HQ), The Korea Development Bank (London Branch), Swiss Re Europe S.A., Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Société Générale S.A., Bayerische Landesbank (Bayern LB), DZ BANK AG, Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited (London Branch), KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale (Helaba), SCOR Infrastructure Loans III (represented by SCOR Investment Partners as management company) and Export Development Canada (EDC).

The multi-disciplinary WFW Germany team advising on the transaction was led by Finance Partner Sven Fretthold, supported by Associate Marie-Theres Recifo and Legal Manager Annika Schulz. Partner and Global Energy Sector Co-Head Malte Jordan led on the corporate aspects of the deal, supported by Associate Jan Schürmann. Regulatory expertise was provided by Partner Dr Christine Bader, Managing Associate Jule Martin and Associate Paul Philipp Greef.

Sven commented: “We are delighted to have once again advised a consortium of leading banks and other lenders on an important financing for the Deutsche Buch offshore wind project, which also demonstrates WFW’s standing as the ‘go-to’ law firm for major, multi-disciplinary renewables transactions in Germany”.

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