Representatives of Boralex Inc. ("Boralex"), Gaz Métro Limited Partnership ("Gaz Métro") and Valener Inc. ("Valener") accepted on March 1, 2011, at the annual Project Finance Americas Deals of the Year 2011 Awards held in New York, an award for the complex financing structure of Seigneurie de Beaupré's wind farms 2 & 3. This award is in addition to the one won in London on January 25 at the 2011 Project Finance International (PFI) Awards.
Awarded the North American Wind Project Financing of the Year, the first phase of these wind farms, which feature 20-year power sales contracts, led to a $725 million financing that closed on November 8, 2011. It should be noted that $260 million of the financing is covered by a guarantee provided to the lenders by the Federal Republic of Germany through its export credit agency Euler-Hermes.
The Seigneurie de Beaupré 2 & 3 wind farm financing is distinguished by its unique structure, as well as by the participation of unusual investors in this type of project financing. According to Project Finance Magazine, this highly complex financing is probably the largest financing covered by an export credit agency guarantee ever completed in the North American renewable energy sector.
"The support of Québec funds - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Investissement Québec - which are normally absent from this type of financing, as well as that of foreign lenders, in the tumultuous context that the financial markets experienced in 2011, are a reflection of our creative approach to finding new sources of financing and the exceptional quality and unique composition of our financing structure," said Patrick Lemaire, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boralex and Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gaz Métro.
The original group of lenders is composed of : KfW IPEX-Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Deutsche Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Siemens Financial and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Following the closing of the financing, three financial institutions were added to the group of lenders: Investissement Québec, DZ Bank and AKA Bank, with some of the original lenders assigning a portion of their loan.
For the past 13 years, Project Finance has been recognizing deals completed in the Americas through its Deals of the Year Awards. This year, winners in 20 categories were selected based on criteria such as innovation, problem solving, risk mitigation and value for money. All deals are judged by a panel of Project Finance Magazine journalists and independent industry players using a weighting system. Each year, an average of 300 to 350 deals are evaluated for these awards.