Foresight refis Australian wind farm

Breaking News 24 March

Foresight refis Australian wind farm

Foresight Group (formerly Infrastructure Capital Group) is refinancing AUD 168m (USD 112m) of debt linked to its 107 MW Bald Hills wind farm in Victoria, according to two sources familiar.

Energy Infrastructure Trust (EIT), which is a Foresight-managed fund, owns the wind farm.

ANZ bank, MUFG Bank and ING Group were the lenders when the asset was last refinanced in 2020.

The three-year loan was secured soon after the global pandemic hit the lending market. At the time, bankers said spreads for non-recourse, mini-perm loans ballooned from around 120 basis points over BBSY to 180-200 basis points over.

The loan comes due in September. Typically, borrowers start to refinance loans months ahead of their expiry.

In October 2013, Japan’s Mitsui & Co., which then owned Bald Hills, achieved a financial close on the AUD 300m project. The initial term of the construction loan was two years, which then converted to a seven-year term facility on completion of the project.

Where possible, Foresight has sought to match long-term borrowing with long-term offtake agreements. 

In 2019, the manager refinanced the Neerabup gas-fired power station that it co-owns with ERM with a long-dated loan provided by National Australia Bank; in 2018, ICG (39.9%), Osaka Gas (39.9%) and Australian pipeline company APA Group (20.2%) used MUFG's Samurai structure to lock in long-dated financing for the Hallett 4 wind farm.

In 2015, ICG refinanced its Hallett 2 wind farm with 12-year debt sourced from the U.S. private placement market.

Sydney-based energy retailer Alinta agreed to buy Bald Hill's output for 15 years from when it was commissioned in September 2015.

Bald Hills is powered by 52 REpower Systems turbines, generating 2.05 MW each.

A Foresight official did not respond to a message seeking comment.

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