Macquarie secures debt for Victoria battery

Breaking News 3 April

Macquarie secures debt for Victoria battery

Macquarie Green Investment Group and Shell Energy Operations has secured debt from five commercial banks to finance their 200 MW/400 MWh Rangebank battery energy storage system near Cranbourne West in Victoria, according to three sources familiar.

Societe Generale, which was advising on the debt finance, has lent into financing along with BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Westpac, the sources said.

The sponsors of the battery were looking for around AUD 200m (USD 133m) in debt, a source previously told Infralogic.

Shell will buy the power from the battery, as previously reported, but in addition to buying 100% of the power from the battery for 20 years, the oil major has agreed to buy equity in the battery, according to an announcement on Friday.

“The Rangebank project is our first grid-scale battery investment in Victoria and marks Shell’s first direct equity investment in a utility-scale BESS globally," said Shell Energy Australia Chief Executive Officer Greg Joiner in the announcement.

“Located in one of Melbourne’s fastest-growing population centres, the Rangebank BESS will help to stabilise Victoria’s state electricity supply by providing additional storage capacity, which can be discharged at times of peak demand."

Family-owned investment group, Perfection Private, will also continue to own a minority stake in the battery.

The project, which is scheduled to be complete late next year, will be built, serviced and maintained by Fluence. The project has already received development approval from the Victorian government.

In November, Macquarie Asset Management announced it had launched a 3 GW battery unit, Eku Energy, owned by its Green Investment Group. Eku will own the battery when it is completed.

Shell is also one of the offtakers for Federation Asset Management's Riverina battery, which Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and DNB financed.

To date, there have been fairly few Australian project financings of batteries.

Spokespeople and officials from BNP Paribas, Macquarie, Shell, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered did not respond to messages seeking comment. Officials at SMBC and Westpac declined comment.

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