With the support of technical due diligence advice from GL Garrad Hassan, Sumitomo Corporation and its subsidiary Sumitomo Corporation Europe last week agreed to invest significant amount of equity in two Belgian offshore projects.
The Belwind 1 operational wind farm and Northwind project together account for 127 wind turbines and 381 MW of generating capacity with total project cost of about €1,550 million. The investment by Sumitomo is further evidence that offshore wind is attracting new sources of equity capital. Sumitomo agreed to take 39% of Belwind 1 and 33% of Northwind.
Specialist engineering knowledge and skills from GL Garrad Hassan provided technical due diligence to Sumitomo Corp. The GL Garrad Hassan team examined the key areas of technical risk, including energy production, technology and design, asset status, contracts, grid and permitting.
The Sumitomo investment is the latest of a number of project finance deals involving alternative equity for European Offshore Wind Projects. This is seen as a healthy trend as it reduces the reliance on the already stretched balance sheets of European Utilities.