The UK’s largest offshore wind farm has secured the billions needed to make it a reality.
The partners said they had agreed the largest offshore wind project financing to date, globally, in Dogger Bank.
The total senior debt facilities across the two phases is £4.8 billion, plus ancillary facilities of around £700 million.
Dogger Bank A and B are being project financed with gearing of 65% to 70% for the generation assets.
Gearing on the transmission facilities is set to 90% of the forecasted OFTO sale proceeds.
The final group of lenders, comprising 29 banks and three export credit agencies, includes experienced lenders in the sector along with relationship lenders of both SSE and Equinor.
The project is being built in three 1.2 GW phases, with the first two phases being constructed at the same time to take advantage of the synergies resulting from their geographical proximity and use of common technology and contractors.
As such, the two phases are being financed concurrently with all lenders participating in each phase in equal proportions.
Dogger Bank A and B will each require total capital expenditure of around £3bn, including the capex for the offshore transmission station (OFTO).
The third phase, Dogger Bank C, is being developed on a different timescale with financial close to follow at a later stage.
Pal Eitrheim, Equinor’s executive vice president of New Energy Solutions, said: “Reaching financial close on the two first phases of Dogger Bank is a major milestone, demonstrating our commitment to profitable growth within offshore wind.
“The extensive interest from lenders underpins the attractiveness of UK offshore wind assets and confidence in SSE and Equinor.
“As the wind farm’s future operator, we are proud to take this big step forward in delivering what will be the backbone of a growing wind hub in the North Sea.”