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Infigen closes Woodlawn loan facility

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Renewable energy wind famers Infigen Energy announced financial close under the Woodlawn Wind Farm project finance facility and that it has successfully imported electricity to the grid as part of the wind farm’s pre-commissioning testing procedures.

In December 2010 Infigen signed a project finance facility agreement with Westpac for the 48.3 Mega Watt Woodlawn Wind Farm.

All conditions of the loan have now been satisfied and first draw down under the facility has occurred. The facility limit at financial close is $55 million.

Infigen achieved a milestone last week by successfully exporting electricity generated from the first of the 23 Suzlon 2.1 MW wind turbines to the grid.

“On completion Woodlawn Wind Farm will provide enough renewable energy annually to power approximately 23,000 homes and assist in meeting New South Wales’ growing electricity demand,” Infigen said in an announcement.

“The commissioning phase for the wind farm will continue into the second half of the year.”

The company said the Woodlawn project has created more than 150 direct jobs during construction and many more indirect jobs including the fabrication in Australia of towers, buildings, switchrooms and electrical equipment.

Infigen has provided on-site apprentices with valuable work experience and the development has also benefited the local community through increased economic activity.

“Infigen’s Woodlawn Wind Farm will be an important addition to our Australian business, located in an area with a good wind resource, an excellent connection to the grid and a supportive local community,” Infigen Energy managing director Miles George said in an announcement.

“Furthermore, the wind farm will aid Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy and contribute to Australia’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The project remains on time for completion by the end of 2011.”

Infigen also announced it has agreed to sell its portfolio of German wind energy assets with an installed capacity of 128.7 MW to a European based renewable energy fund for an enterprise value of €154.6 million.

Settlement of the sale is subject to receipt of German cartel authority approval, which may take up to 30 days, with completion to occur thereafter.

The company has earmarked the net sale proceeds to be applied to repaying debt under its global debt facilities.

“The sale of our German assets will achieve a fair value for securityholders and will represent an important step in improving our capital structure,” George said.