White & Case Advises a Syndicate of International Commercial Banks on Non-Recourse Financing of US$700 Million Wind Project in Brazil
2 min read
Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised a syndicate of leading international banks on the non-recourse financing of Project Feijão, a 456 MW wind project in Brazil that is being developed by Macquarie Asset Management's Green Investment Group and Hydro Rein, Norsk Hydro's dedicated company for renewables development. The project financing closed on June 26, 2023 with a syndicate comprising mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners BNP Paribas, Banco Santander, Citibank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Natixis and Societe Generale.
"This is a major landmark for Brazil's power sector, as it marks the first US dollar-denominated renewables project to raise project financing solely from commercial banks without the involvement of a development agency" says White & Case partner Martin Menski.
Project Feijao involves the construction, operation and maintenance of the hybrid wind and solar project located in the states of Piauí and Pernambuco, Brazil, one of the largest wind farm clusters in Latin America. At an approximate cost of $700 million, the project involves constructing 80 turbines with a combined capacity of 456 MW in phase one, with the option to develop up to 130 MW of solar power production in phase two. The funding also covers associated infrastructure for the wind project, including substations and a 50km transmission line. EPC is to be performed by Elecnor, the Spanish construction company, with Nordex from Germany supplying the wind turbines.
The project will supply 100 percent of the electricity required for Hydro's bauxite mine Paragominas, and will further reduce carbon emissions from Hydro's alumina refinery Alunorte by enabling coal replacement toward 2030. Alunorte and Paragominas have both signed long-term US-dollar power purchase agreements with Feijão under a Brazilian self-production structure, enabling the project as sole off-takers. The project will be an important step to reach Hydro's target of a 30 percent CO2 reduction by 2030.
The White & Case team was led by Project Development and Finance partner Martin Menski (Washington, DC), and included Project Development and Finance partners John Anderson (São Paulo), Suzanne Perry (Washington, DC) and Florian Degenhardt (Hamburg), counsel Beate Treibmann (Hamburg), and associates Margaret Zelenski, Eduarda Lague (both in Washington, DC), Raffaele Turco (New York) and Adrian Leal (Houston); Capital Markets partner Ian Cuillerier and counsel Rhys Bortignon (both in New York); Debt Finance partner Fernando Navarro and counsel Julio Peralta (both in Madrid); and M&A partner Arnaud Cagi-Nicolau (Luxembourg). Law clerks Andre Felipe Cristofaro and Pablo Calderon also assisted on the matter.
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