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Wpd, Commerzbank and Nord/LB Reach Financial Close for Finnish Kurha Wind Farm

Bremen, Germany - Bremen-based wind farm developer and operator Wpd is continuously expanding its activities in Finland through its Finnish subsidiary. Now Wpd, together with Commerzbank and Norddeutsche Landesbank (Nord/L), has announced financial close for the large-scale wind farm project Karhunnevankangas (Karhu).

This means that the financing of Wpd Europe's largest onshore project with a capacity of 188 megawatts (MW) has been completed. The wind farm is located in the Österbotten region of western Finland. The electricity generated by the wind farm will be sold to the paper group UPM Kymmene via a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).

The three parties Wpd, Commerzbank and Nord/LB had already cooperated in the financing of the Finnish wind farm Tohkoja. In addition to the participation of the two banks, this was also the first financing process of Wpd Europe that was accompanied by Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft. Euler Hermes acted as mandatary of the German government and was responsible for the audit in obtaining the export credit guarantee from the German government. Nord/LB was in charge of the process with Euler Hermes and acted as ECA advisor for Wpd Europe and the Banking-Club.

The financing package of nearly €220 million covers the construction and operating phases and includes, among other things, a long-term Euler Hermes facility, various guarantees and an equity bridge facility.

"After the good cooperation with Commerzbank and NORD/LB in the Tohkoja project, we now have added the next chapter with Karhu. Everyone involved can be proud of what has been achieved”, said Ralf Ketteler, Head of Commercial Project Management at Wpd Europe GmbH. Mark Hubenthal, Director Origination Project Finance of Commerzbank's Center of Competence Energy, assesses the project as a highly exciting and challenging transaction, especially with regard to market price issues and PPA design. It proves that complexity can be mastered in a good partnership. Björn Heinemeyer, Senior Director, Structured Finance Europe, Energy Origination at Nord/LB; sees the financing package as confirmation of Nord/LB's leading role in the implementation of large PPA-supported projects in Europe involving ECA coverage.

Wpd has ordered a total of 33 Delta4000 series N163/5.X turbines from wind turbine manufacturer Nordex for the Karhu wind farm in late 2020. The turbines will be supplied in 5.7 MW operating mode. The towers are designed as tubular steel structures and reach a hub height of 159 meters, so that the rotor blade tips of the turbines are located at a height of 240 meters and thus reach into lower-turbulence wind layers.

Further projects in Finland under development - Wpd project pipeline comprises approx. 1,000 MW

Wpd Europe has already implemented four wind farms in the country with its national company Wpd Finland Oy and has a pipeline of approximately 1,000 MW of projects in various stages here. With the Karhunnevankangas project as an addition to the four wind farms already realized by Wpd in the country, the Finnish Wpd team is further expanding its position as a competent and reliable partner in the country's energy market. It is well positioned for further projects and PPAs to promote CO2-free energy production and the achievement of Finland's climate goals in the present and the future, Wpd said recently about its further development in Finland.

Source: IWR Online, 20 May 2021