PwC appointed transaction advisor for Queensland wind farm

08 December 2020 Consultancy.com.au 2 min. read
Profile

Stage one of the Clarke Creek Wind Farm project in Queensland is up for sale, and PwC has been named financial advisor for the transaction. Estimates place the asset at a deal value $800 million.

Owned and operated by Goldwind Australia – a subsidiary of Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology – Clarke Creek Wind Farm is a project that aims to generate more than 800 megawatts (MW) in wind energy output through nearly 200 turbines.

Regulatory approval is already in place for the project, which at full capacity could power nearly 600,000 Queensland homes. For now, Goldwind is looking for investors to power the wind farm’s first stage – development of 450 MW capacity using over 100 turbines. A Goldwind spokesperson revealed to the AFR that PwC has been enlisted as financial advisor for the process.

PwC appointed transaction advisor for Queensland wind farm

While the entire project is valued at around $1.5 billion, the total sum for stage one is estimated at $800 million. PwC’s task is to find an investor willing to split this amount into debt and equity in equal parts. Broader market factors considered, the mandate is set to be a complex one.

Australia’s energy market is undergoing a reshuffle, and long-term renewable assets are in abundant supply. This, combined with a bearish investor market due to the Covid-19 economic impact, gives PwC the challenge of attracting funds by establishing the unique value of Clarke Creek Wind Farm. 

Helping this along is the fact that returns on stage one energy output are all but guaranteed. In August, Queensland’s largest power generator Stanwell Corporation signed an agreement with the Queensland Government to purchase 348 MW of the total 450 MW stage one capacity.

At the time, Goldwind Australia Managing Director John Titchen noted that “the Power Purchase Agreement is very important to enable engagement with investors and banks to progress to the construction phase which is targeted to commence in mid-2021.” With this backdrop, odds appear stacked in PwC’s favour.

Also in the plus column is the Big Four accounting and advisory firm’s breadth of deal experience in the Australia & New Zealand market, evidenced by its activity in the last three months alone. At the end of August, PwC was picked to help sell Auscott – one of Australia’s largest land, water and infrastructure agribusinesses. And in November, M&A consultants from the firm were engaged to lead the sale of Auckland-based Natural Pet Food Group.