Cape Wind and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU) on March 26 added Natixis and Rabobank to serve as the project’s Lead Arrangers, and they will now work with BTMU to structure and arrange the syndication of the senior debt financing to additional lenders.
The Lead Arrangers are expected themselves to make significant commitments which, together with Danish state-owned export credit agency EKF, would provide more than $1bn to Cape Wind’s debt financing upon satisfactory completion of the banks’ approval process.
“This is one of the key steps in completing the financing package for the construction of the Cape Wind Project,” said Ted Roosevelt IV, Managing Director at Barclays, Cape Wind’s Financial Advisor.
“We are pleased that Natixis and Rabobank will join us in this landmark transaction,” said Takaki Sakai, Project Finance Director of BTMU. “Further, there is considerable interest in Cape Wind among other commercial banks active in project financing, and we expect to complete the commercial bank syndication in the near future.”
“Cape Wind is a good fit for Natixis considering our prior participation in other offshore wind projects and we believe the market is strong for additional commercial banks to participate,” said Olivier Delay, Managing Director & Head of Aviation, Export and Infrastructure, Americas for Natixis Wholesale Banking.
“Rabobank is pleased to take this step forward in the financing for the Cape Wind project,” said Thomas Emmons, Managing Director and Head of Project Finance for Rabobank in the Americas. “We have closely followed Cape Wind for some time and are enthusiastic about moving forward with the mandate to line up financing commitments.”
Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said: “New England urgently needs the jobs and clean energy that Cape Wind will produce. We are pleased that these experienced offshore wind lenders are supporting our efforts to diversify our region’s energy mix and helping to launch the U.S. offshore wind industry.”
Earlier in March, Cape Wind and the federal government successfully won the four legal cases in federal court that were challenging Cape Wind’s permit from the Department of the Interior. Following financial closing, Cape Wind will commence construction activities. Cape Wind said it will begin onshore cable route construction by the end of this year and begin ocean construction off Rhode Island in 2015. Cape Wind expects to commence commercial operations in late summer 2016.
Cape Wind will be America’s first offshore wind farm. The company has long-term Power Purchase Agreements with National Grid and NSTAR, the two largest electric utilities in Massachusetts.