Pictured at the official unveiling of the commemorative plaque to mark the opening of the Ourika’s project are, left to Right:Mr Jorge Seguro Sanches, former Secretary of State for Energy of Portugal; Mr Dominique Ristori, Director General of Energy for European Commission; Mr Manuel Caldeira Cabral, former Minister of Economy of Portugal; Mr Marcelo Guerreiro, Presidente da Camara da Municipal de Ourique; and Barry O’Neill, CEO WElink Group.
WElink Energy (“WElink”) has announced that it is accelerating its investment expansion in Iberia and in other strategic global markets as part of its blueprint to expand its collaboration with leading European renewables investor, Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”).
In a first transaction, ACP recently acquired 100% of the 46 MWp Ourika solar power plant, the first unsubsidised plant operating in Iberia, and the largest individual unsubsidised plant in Europe. The transaction is backed by a 20-year PPA.
WElink and ACP are planning to collaborate on future projects from WElink’s pipeline of 442 MWp planned for construction and completion in 2019.
ACP has invested more than EUR 3.5bn in renewables in 83 wind farms and 7 solar plants in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the US. The agreement with WElink now sees ACP extend its investment reach into Iberia. ACP has a strategic objective to double its current investment volume in renewable energy.
WElink completed construction of the Ourika plant this summer with its official inauguration on 26th July 2018. Its next Iberian project, the 220 MWp “Solara4” plant in Portugal, is presently in construction and scheduled for completion in 2019. Together, these form cornerstones of WElink’s target to develop 2.5 GWp by 2021 across Iberia, Southern Europe and in other strategic markets.
Working with its long-standing partner, China Triumph International Engineering Company Limited (“CTIEC”), all projects will be delivered on a turnkey basis. CTIEC will provide full EPC services and construction finance with WElink delivering project management and long-term operations and asset management services to all projects delivered.
Marc Groves-Raines, Managing Director at ACP, said: “The acquisition of Ourika signals an important milestone for ACP, as we follow the transition into private PPA power markets. The collaboration with WElink provides us with access to new investment opportunities that can lead to the delivery of a material portfolio of solar PV assets – matching our continued and expanding investment appetite for best of class power projects.”
Barry O’Neill, CEO of WElink Group, said: “WElink has now established its position as an independent power producer. We regard ACP as a perfect partner given their reputation for quality investment, their renewables heritage and ambitions for growth. The investment relationship, coupled with our longstanding partnership with Chinese-based CTIEC, can facilitate a powerful market presence and our continued expansion into clean energy. Our investments in Iberia form the start of an ambitious growth plan for WElink. We are working with some excellent local partners to foster relationships that will enable rapid expansion and opportunity to grow together. We very much look forward to working with Marc and his team over a long period”.
SDCL London acted as lead financial advisor and Our New Energy acted as independent specialist PPA advisor to WElink in relation to the Ourika transaction.
Founded in 2007, and headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, WElink Group delivers renewable energy solutions and leading-edge energy efficient housing solutions. WElink operates in strategic partnership with China National Building Materials (“CNBM”), a world leading building products & new energy company which has constructed over 1GW of solar PV projects globally.
WElink Group operates globally with offices located in Ireland, UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, China and the US and has representation in other Asian, North American and Latin American markets.
WElink Energy is a leading provider of energy solutions. Its highly-qualified teams have developed more than 1 GW of solar PV projects in Europe, North America, LATAM and Asia, including the delivery of the largest PV solar plant in the UK and the first unsubsidised plant in Iberia.
WElink Energy has a decade-long strategic partnership with CTIEC, the international EPC division of CNBM.
Allianz Capital Partners
Allianz Capital Partners is a leading investor and trusted partner for alternative assets. In creating sustainable value for our clients and society, we are the in-house asset manager for alternative investments of the Allianz Group. ACP focus on investing in private equity, renewables and infrastructure, with offices located in Munich, London, New York and Singapore. With current assets under management of EUR 24.7bn, and 130 employees investing across private equity, renewable energy, and general infrastructure.
Since 2005, Allianz Capital Partners has been dedicated to renewables and is one of the world’s largest financial investors in this asset class. Investments in wind and solar projects offer an attractive annual income stream at an acceptable risk-return profile.
Currently, ACP are invested in more than 83 wind farms and 7 solar parks in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the US. By end of 2017 investments in renewables exceeded EUR 3.5 billion.