Driving force in Finnish wind turbine deal

The financing for a large wind farm is often a complicated puzzle. Numerous parties and interests are involved. Rabobank regularly plays a crucial role in solving these puzzels thanks to its knowledge, expertise and insight. This was also the case with a recent deal in Finland.

The plan is to erect eleven 100-metre wind turbines in the Finnish hinterland. Property developer Yard Energy, which is a client of Rabobank Utrechtse Heuvelrug, and investor Maas Capital approached Rabobank to help find ways to finance this wind farm.

Opportunity

'We were pleased to help. First of all because we had already done business with Yard in the past and the wind turbine supplier is also a client of ours,' says Marc Schmitz of Rabobank Project Finance. 'Turbine manufacturer Lagerwey has been supplying exceptionally high-quality technology for years. We have also financed a number of their wind turbines. Because Lagerwey is a small company they had so far not had any scope to expand internationally. This project, and Rabobank's support, provided them with the opportunity to enter the international arena. Given the positive financial results, Yard's expertise and Lagerwey's new and extremely experienced management, the Finnish wind farm is clearly in very good hands. This project will help Lagerwey double its revenue within a short period of time.'

Specific expertise

Rabobank was able to put this project in the right direction. 'A project of approximately 45 million euro calls for specific expertise. That's why we engaged Dutch credit insurer Atradius in the process, which has a vast experience with financing Dutch export.
Rabobank has extensive experience relating to complex deals and together we could make this deal happen.'

Modest but crucial

'While Rabobank's role might often seem to be modest in relation to some complex and large deals, the external market actually sees us as crucial and extremely competent,' says Schmitz. 'Our input frequently constitutes that one missing piece of the puzzle: an essential link in realising the project. This can involve projects costing billions, such as the offshore wind transactions, or an innovative deal such as this in which Atradius plays a role in the wind sector for the first time.'

Experience and trust

'The effort and engagement that the Rabobank team has shown has been crucial to the success of this transaction. The team brings the experience and trust to ensure all parties involved are on the same page,' says Huib Morelisse, CEO of Lagerwey. 'Moreover, it is really nice that our 'own' bank, Rabobank Flevoland, is taking an active role in facilitating our growth.'

Exports, opportunities, employment

These types of sustainable energy projects have a huge impact. 'We provide a major impetus for Dutch exports. In this particular case, we helped a local producer to cross international boundaries. This deal also offers new opportunities for developing more projects like this. And it is important to remember that they create large numbers of new jobs. It is naturally also a positive stimulus for the development of sustainable energy in Finland. The country wants to generate much more green energy in the years ahead and that’s why this wind farm is a welcome addition. We've got the wind in our sails.'

Market leader

Rabobank has been market leader in the US and Canada in the field of sustainable energy (solar and wind) for quite some time now. It also holds the number one position in the Netherlands in the financing of wind turbines, including the largest onshore wind park (NOP Agrowind) and the first nearshore wind farm (Westermeerwind).

Meetings

Rabobank, in association with several organisations, will present a 'Wind on Land' meeting each quarter. The first meeting took place at Rabobank Flevoland. This is not a coincidence because Lagerwey has been a client of this local Rabobank for many years. The meetings will feature presentations on current and relevant themes in wind energy. More information about these evening meetings is available at www.r-meetings.nl.