Retrospective: A dynamic year in Finnish project finance
The last 12 months have been really exciting in the Finnish project finance market. Our teams at Roschier have been involved in many interesting project finance transactions in, among others, the wind energy sector and the forestry sector – the following transactions represent a good variety of the matters we worked on during 2020.
First municipal PPP
We advised the European Investment Bank, the Nordic Investment Bank and OP Corporate Bank plc on the financing arrangements for Kumppanuuskoulut Oy in relation to its public private partnership transaction with the City of Espoo. This was the first Finnish municipal PPP transaction, covering five schools and three daycare centres for nearly 3,900 children. The total value of the project is approx. EUR 300 million for the whole service period.
Kumppanuuskoulut Oy is owned by YIT Corporation, Finland’s largest construction company, and global infrastructure investor Meridiam. The debt financing consisted of a EUR 75 million loan from the NIB, EUR 60 million from the EIB and EUR 35 million from OP, with loan terms of 21.5 years.
Booming wind energy sector
The Finnish wind farm market has been booming and Roschier was involved in numerous wind farm financing transactions during 2020.
As an example, on the financing side we acted for OP Corporate Bank plc on the project financing of the construction of the 86 MW Lakiakangas 3 wind farm, consisting of 20 Vestas V150-4.3 MW turbines and located in the municipalities of Kristiinankaupunki and Isojoki in Western Finland. We also advised Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ) on the project financing of the construction of the Murtomäki wind farm consisting of 15 wind turbines and with a production capacity corresponding to approximately 90 MW.
In addition, Roschier advised several clients relating to developing, selling and purchasing wind farms.
Largest investment ever by the forestry industry
Finally, in a very exciting project, we advised the European Investment Bank on the financing of the investment by Metsä Fibre (part of Metsä Group) in the construction of a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. While not a project finance transaction in the strictest sense of the concept, at EUR 1.6 billion, the project is the largest investment ever made by the Finnish forestry industry in Finland. The construction phase will take approximately two and a half years, and the mill will be completed during the third quarter of 2023.
In addition to the EUR 200 million 15-year loan by the European Investment Bank, the debt financing included a EUR 500 million 10 year-loan guaranteed by Finnvera, a EUR 200 million 10-year loan guaranteed by the Swedish Exportkreditnämnd (EKN) and a EUR 100 million five-year green term loan with eight commercial banks.
This year is expected to be just as or even more eventful than 2020. The wind sector looks very strong and we also have several other project finance deals on the boil. We look forward to following up early next year.