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WFW advises on LEFGL French pilot floating offshore wind farm financing and due diligence21 June 2022

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised project company Les Eoliennes Flottantes du Golfe du Lion (“LEFGL”), owned by Ocean Winds (”OW”) and Banque des Territoires, on the legal due diligence and structuring and negotiation of the non-recourse financing of three floating offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 30 MW, off the French Mediterranean coast at Leucate and Le Barcarès. This is one of the first four pilot floating offshore wind farms under development in France.

The project is being developed by OW, a joint venture between Engie and EDP Renewables, as part of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency ADEME’s tender for projects promoting floating offshore. It is scheduled to be operational by end 2023.

The lenders comprise a syndicate of French and international financial institutions including the European Investment bank, Crédit Agricole CIB, KfW IPEX Bank, Mizuho Bank, Banco Santander and Danish export credit agency, EKF. ADEME is also supporting the project in line with France’s national energy transition plans.

Founded in 2019, Madrid-headquartered OW has a current portfolio comprising 1.5 GW projects under construction and 4.0 GW under development and aim to have 5-7 GW of projects in operation or construction and 5-10 GW under advanced development by 2025. The company is active across Europe, the US and selected Asian countries.

Created in 2018, Banque des Territoires is one of the five branches of Caisse des Dépôts. It offers lending and investment solutions to meet the needs of local authorities, social housing organisations and public companies with the ambition to fight against social inequalities.

The multidisciplinary WFW Paris team advising LEFGL was led by Finance Partner Laurence Martinez-Bellet, assisted by Senior Associates Sébastien Hoff, Gavin Jackson and Jenny Burns and Associates Julie Michelangeli and Hugues Hounkpati together with Capital Markets Partner Rob McBride providing derivatives expertise from an English law perspective. Partner Laurent Battoue advised on the regulatory and project aspects of the transaction, supported by Counsel Antoine Bois-Minot and Associate Marine Yzquierdo. Corporate law and project advice was provided by Partner Thomas Rabain and Associates Inès-Anaïs Martinet and Mohamed Douib.

WFW Paris also recently advised the project company on a second floating offshore wind farm off the French Mediterranean coast, the 30 MW Eolmed project being developed by Qair Marine.

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