Adiant Capital Partners, a Swiss investment advisory firm focusing on renewable infrastructure, has acquired rights to construct and operate two Australian solar parks totalling 550 MWdc.
Adiant ACO Sarl, a Luxembourg-based vehicle managed by Adiant Capital Partners (“Adiant”), has completed in November 2017 the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Maranbah Solar Pty Ltd a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”) that own rights to the 100 MWdc Broadlea solar park; the acquisition of Raglan Solar Pty Ltd, the SPV owning the rights to the 450 MWdc Raglan solar park, has been completed early 2018. The rights have been acquired from international developer Eco Energy World.
Each project has been granted full planning consent and has received a grid connection offer from the local network operator. The projects will have a combined footprint of about 1,200 hectares. The Raglan project ranks amongst the top 20 largest solar parks globally.
Pierre-Loïc Caïjo, Managing Partner, said “The acquisition of the rights to these two major Australian projects, representing an investment of c. AUD 685m (c. EUR 430m), puts Adiant Capital Partners in the top league of global investors in the sector, confirming our ability to source, due diligence and execute transactions internationally. Achieving completion of those projects, which represent a 10% market share of the overall projects in development in Queensland, is of particular importance for the heavily carbonised Australian economy, which produces 60% of its electricity from coal”. Mr. Caïjo added “We expect the projects to start construction in 12 to 18 months and reach Commercial Operation Date 10 months later. We do not foresee complications on the construction side, as both sites are very good from a construction and grid connection standpoint. We will use a single axis trackers technology. We will concentrate over the next months on bringing the projects to a construction-ready stage, i.e. negotiating a Power Purchase Agreement with an already identified power off-taker, run a competitive process to select an EPC contractor and negotiate a project financing package, while raising further equity.”
Due to the sheer size of the investment, Adiant considers raising equity directly at the SPV levels and co-own assets with long-term majority shareholders, such as an energy utility or an insurance company. The construction of the projects will employ more than 1,000 workers and involve numerous local contractors for the site preparation, transport, and mechanical and electrical works.
The combined sites will generate over 1,100 GWh of green electricity annually, which will avoid the emission of 1.1 million tons of CO2 each year, which is equivalent to the annual emissions of over 75,000 Australian individuals. The projects will operate for at least the next 30 years.
Adiant has been advised by global law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and Australian law firm McCullough Robertson in legal aspects of the due diligence and transaction structuring.