Taiwan wind farm heralds renewables boom

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Major law firms Linklaters and White & Case are signalling a significant uptick in renewables deals in the region following their recent involvement in a Taiwan wind farm stake acquisition with a price tag of USD500 million.

Linklaters advised Thailand-based energy company Global Power Synergy (GPSC) in acquiring the 25% stake in Taiwanese 595MW Changfang and Xidao (CFXD) offshore wind farm from a Danish fund management company, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). White & Case advised CIP.

The transaction represents a total investment of USD500 million until project completion. GPSC will acquire the stake through its wholly owned subsidiary, Global Renewable Synergy Company (GRSC), which will enter the CFXD project as a co-owner, alongside the funds under CIP, as well as local Taiwanese minority shareholders.

“We have seen the trend for investment in renewable energy in Asia for quite some time,” Linklaters’ Bangkok-based energy and infrastructure partner, Wanwisar Nakarat, told Asia Business Law Journal.

“According to an analysis by Linklaters, green bonds alone raised USD303 billion in 2020 – surpassing what was then a record-breaking 2019 – and are expected to raise to USD500 billion in 2021.

“Despite the pandemic, we have seen increasing investment from multiple new players, such as industry corporates and funds, to add environmental, social and governance (ESG) products or assets to their portfolios,” added Nakarat. “This includes renewable energy projects especially solar, wind, and offshore wind in Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, India and the Philippines.”

“This transaction is a strong statement on the attractiveness of the Asian renewable energy market to investors as energy transition gains traction,” added Christopher Kelly of White & Case, who leads the M&A practice in Asia-Pacific. “It demonstrates the broader trend of increasing interest from global investors seeking quality renewables assets in the Asian market.”

The Linklaters team was led by Nakarat, with the help of London-based partner Andrew Penfold and managing associate Artem Boiko, Singapore-based corporate partners Robert Elliot and Sophie Mathur, counsel Ying Fu in Hong Kong, and managing associate Patsharamon Manathat in Bangkok.

The White & Case team was led by Kelly in Hong Kong and Fergus Smith in Singapore, with the support of a Melbourne-based team comprising partners Andrew Clark and Candice Ota, and counsel Hilary Cure, as well as Hong Kong-based partners Anthony Vasey and James Hsiao, and counsel Chen Peiwen.

Located off the coast of Changhua county in Taiwan, and scheduled to be completed by 2024, the offshore wind project will provide clean energy to more than 600,000 households.

GPSC is majority owned (directly and indirectly) by Thailand’s largest and state-owned oil and gas company, PTT. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions with Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.