$621m Westermost refinancing

Japanese group Marubeni and the UK government’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) have refinanced a chunk of their 50% stake in the Westermost Rough offshore wind project, in a deal they hailed as a landmark for the sector.

Marubeni and the GIB have raised about £370m ($621m) of limited-recourse senior debt from a group of lenders including Japan Bank for International Cooperation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking, and Siemens Financial Services (SFS).

The latter is the financial arm of German industrial giant Siemens, whose 6MW offshore wind turbines will make their full-scale commercial debut at the project off northeastern England – with the first machine due for installation imminently.

Marubeni and the GIB announced in March their purchase of half of the Westermost Rough project from developer Dong Energy in a deal worth £500m.

The two buyers hold 25% each, with Dong retaining the rest.

Ed Northam, head of investment banking at the GIB said: “This is an important transaction in the development of offshore wind in the UK…we have brought in a number of new, long-term financiers to the sector.

“Increasing the number of long-term debt providers in offshore wind is critical in both ensuring there is sufficient capital to finance new construction projects and lowering the cost of capital for the sector.”