IJGlobal's annual awards ceremony recognized three energy and infrastructure transactions involving Orrick clients as "Deal of the Year." The transactions were selected as the best among 1,400 submissions by a team of industry experts and were voted on by an independent panel of judges, based on the submissions from each of the shortlisted organizations.
The 552MW Changfang and 48MW Xidao offshore wind farms in the Taiwan Strait, better known as the CFXD project, are the Asia Pacific Regional Project Finance and Best Export Finance deals of the year. Sponsors, led by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (87.5%) with Taiwan Life and TransGlobe Life, reached financial close in February 2020 through a near NT$120 billion ($3.94 billion) financing package. The participation of local Taiwan life insurers as equity investors and involvement of a Japanese export credit agency were innovative features of the transaction. "This transaction is a significant milestone as it is the first of its kind to enable local life insurance companies to make a direct investment in a Taiwanese offshore wind farm," CIP partner Michael Hannibal said at the equity closing. Orrick advised the syndicate of 25 international and Taiwanese commercial banks and life insurance companies, and 7 cover providers, including 6 ECAs, providing (or covering) the financing.
The deal saw ENGIE North America negotiate the sale of a 49% stake in its 2.3GW renewables portfolio (Project Jupiter) to Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital. The portfolio covers 9 wind projects (totaling 1.8GW) and 4 solar projects (500GW) across ERCOT, MISO, PJM Interconnection, and the Southwest Power Pool. The projects have a wide range of corporate offtakers including Microsoft, and a U.S.-based multinational retail corporation. The financing was notable for its single tax equity structure. It is unusual to finance wind and solar projects together through a single tax equity structure, since the two project types typically make use of different forms of tax credit. This tax equity financing represents one of the largest portfolio financings of wind and solar projects ever publicly reported. Orrick advised ENGIE in the transaction.
Globeleq managed to attract a total of nine Development Finance Institutions for the debt financing of Azito Phase IV expansion in Côte d'Ivoire - enabling the addition of 253MW of installed power capacity at the 462MW Azito CCGT. The 2020 financial close of the $331 million deal took place eight years after the last phased expansion of the asset. At 715MW, Azito will provide at least 30% of Côte d'Ivoire's power generation, up from 25%. It will become one of the largest privately-run power projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Orrick advised Globeleq in the transaction.