“Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind,” says Pål Eitrheim, executive vice president of new energy solutions at Equinor. “The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of U.K. offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor. As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea.”
The total senior debt facilities across the two phases is £4.8 billion, plus ancillary facilities of around £0.7 billion. With strong interest from lenders, Dogger Bank A and B were able to secure competitive terms, despite unprecedented economic circumstances arising from the global coronavirus pandemic. The final group of lenders, comprising 29 banks and three export credit agencies, includes experienced lenders in the sector along with relationship lenders of both SSE and Equinor. The level of interest achieved reflects the quality of the project and enables strong returns on shareholder capital to be delivered.
The project is being built in three 1.2 GW phases, with the first two phases being constructed at the same time to take advantage of the synergies resulting from their geographical proximity and use of common technology and contractors. As such, the two phases are being financed concurrently with all lenders participating in each phase in equal proportions. Dogger Bank A and B will each require a total capital expenditure of around £3 billion, including the offshore transmission station (OFTO). The third phase, Dogger Bank C, is being developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow at a later stage.
SSE Renewables is leading the construction of the 3.6 GW project. Equinor will lead on the wind farm’s operations.
Original source: North American Wind Power