Platina refinances wind farm portfolio

The London and Paris based renewables specialist has brought a portfolio of investments under one financing regime provided by German bank Nord/LB. The firm says it will enhance returns to the fund.

Platina Finance, a private equity specialist in renewable energy investments, has refinanced to the tune of €24.6 million its investment in Burton Wold, a 20 megawatt, ten turbine wind farm. It has also closed a €9.4 million financing of Winscales Moor, a seven turbine wind farm currently under construction.

Both projects are managed by Platina’s Mistral Wind Farms I Partnership, which is focused on the construction and operation of wind farms. MWF’s three wind farm investments in the UK – Burton Wold, Winscales Moor and Garves – have now been brought under the same portfolio financing structure provided by Gernan bank Nord/LB.

Burton Wold’s €24.6 million refinancing, which extends financing for another 16 years, consists mainly of senior debt.  NORD/LB intends to approach a limited group of banks to participate in this open portfolio financing. The wind farm was originally financed by HBOS in 2005 with €19.8 million of debt.

Platina has also secured €9.4 million of long term debt from Nord/LB for Winscales Moor. The 6 MW wind farm project, currently under construction, is due for completion at the end of June 2009.

Thomas Rottner, managing director of Platina Finance, said: “The refinancing allows us to bring Platina’s three Mistral Wind Farms I investments into the same portfolio financing. This brings benefits in terms of ease of reporting and management and substantially improves the return to the MWF fund.”

Heiko Ludwig, head of energy, structured finance Europe at NORD/LB said: “After having closed the third wind farm, the portfolio has reached an interesting size and confirmed that the open portfolio/programme finance structure does work very well in practise.”

The Blackstone Group has also shown interest in wind farms. The firm is planning to invest more than €1 billion ($1.57) in a large-scale wind farm project off the coast of Germany.