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Northland Power Announces Signing of Credit Agreement for $5.2 Billion Project Financing at Baltic Power Offshore Wind Project

Project Highlights

  • Baltic Power is a 1.1 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind project being developed as a joint venture between Northland Power (49 per cent) and Orlen S.A. (51 per cent).
  • The project is Northland’s fourth in Europe within its growing offshore wind portfolio, with long tenor and high credit quality offtake agreements.
  • Baltic Power will nearly double the company’s gross installed offshore wind capacity from 1.2 GW to 2.3 GW. Once operational, the project is expected to power over 1.5 million Polish households and will be a significant contributor to supporting Poland’s energy transition targets.
  • Baltic Power benefits from a 25-year Euro-pegged and inflation-indexed Contract for Difference (“CfD”) revenue arrangement with the Government of Poland.
  • The project’s total capital cost is projected to be approximately $6.5 billion and the project is expected to provide strong Free Cash Flow and Adjusted EBITDA1 upon achieving full commercial operations in 2026.
  • The project has secured all environmental approvals, major permits and key construction contracts.
  • Northland has secured all necessary equity funding required for the project. Financial close is expected to follow in the coming days, upon satisfaction of all relevant conditions precedent to the financing being achieved.

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northland Power Inc. (“Northland” or the “Company”) (TSX: NPI) along with its partner, Orlen S.A. (“Orlen”), today announced that its Baltic Power offshore wind project (“Baltic Power” or the “project”) in Poland has signed a credit agreement to secure an equivalent of $5.2 billion of non-recourse green financing that adheres to Northland’s green financing framework covering construction and a 20-year term.

The non-recourse project financing will be provided by 25 international and local commercial banks, and multiple Export Credit Agencies and multi-lateral agencies. The project is expected to reach financial close in the coming days, upon satisfaction of all relevant conditions precedent to the financing being achieved.

“Today’s announcement is a major achievement for Northland, our partners and the Baltic Power project,” said Mike Crawley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northland. “This milestone demonstrates the support from the global financial community and reflects their confidence in Northland and our ability to develop, procure, construct and finance large and complex offshore wind projects. Despite the recent challenges for the offshore wind sector in some markets, Northland continues to find a way to advance large-scale offshore wind projects with attractive economics.”

“This financing is Northland’s first offshore wind project in Poland,” said Pauline Alimchandani, Northland’s Chief Financial Officer. “We would like to thank all stakeholders for working together to achieve this significant milestone. Once operational, Baltic Power will be Northland’s fourth offshore wind project in Europe and will provide significant high quality, inflation-protected, long-term contracted Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to our business and shareholders.”

Northland has been co-developing Baltic Power with Orlen, since acquiring a 49 per cent equity stake in the project in 2021. The project financing amount of $5.2 billion represents 80 per cent of Baltic Power’s $6.5 billion projected total capital cost (inclusive of contingencies). The remaining capital will be contributed by the project partners at financial close and has already been secured. Northland’s share of equity for the project was fully secured through the green hybrid bond issuance in June 2023 and existing corporate liquidity. Northland’s interest in Baltic Power is expected to generate a five-year average Adjusted EBITDA (a non-IFRS measure)1 of approximately $300 to $320 million and $95 to $105 million of Free Cash Flow (a non-IFRS measure)1 per year once operational, delivering significant long-term cash flow for the Company’s shareholders.

¹See Non-IFRS Financial Measures and Forward-Looking Statements below.

The project’s 25-year CfD offtake agreement is Euro-pegged and includes an inflation indexation feature commencing with a base year of 2021, providing offsetting benefits to the higher inflationary price pressures recently experienced. Further optimization opportunities will be pursued during and after the construction period, which include: future optimizations the long tenor CfD offers, operating cost improvements and construction execution efficiencies. The project has secured a 15-year operations and maintenance agreement with the turbine supplier, with options to extend.

The project is located in the Baltic Sea, approximately 22 kilometres off the Polish coast near Plaża Wydmy Lubiatowskie and has obtained all environmental approvals and major construction permits. Construction activities have commenced, with fabrication of certain key components underway. Full commercial operations are expected in the latter half of 2026. Once operational, Baltic Power will be amongst the largest offshore wind projects globally. It is expected to provide clean energy to over 1.5 million Polish households and will play an important role in helping Poland achieve its renewable energy targets where installed capacity of offshore wind energy is expected to reach up to 11 GW by 2040.

Baltic Power has entered into interest rate hedges that cover the full loan amortization period and provide an effective all-in interest rate of approximately 5 per cent. In addition, Northland has entered into currency hedges to stabilize the Canadian dollar equivalent for the majority of its projected distributions through 2038 and will enter into additional hedges on an ongoing basis, in line with the Company’s risk management strategy. Baltic Power’s major supply and construction contracts are denominated in Euros to match the currency of financing, with 95% under fixed price contractual structures.

(C$)Total Project Northland’s Interest*
Capacity1,140 MW559 MW
CfD Tenor25 Yearsn/a
   
Total Capital costs$6.5 billion$3.2 billion
Non-Recourse Project Financing$5.2 billion$2.5 billion
Total Equity (excluding pre-completion revenues)$1.3 billion$0.75 billion
   
5-year Average Annual Adjusted EBITDA (a non-IFRS measure)2n/a$300 - $320 million
5-year Average Annual Free Cash Flow (a non-IFRS measure)2n/a$95 - $105 million
   
Estimated annual net production4,400 GWhn/a
Non-Recourse Debt Term20 yearsn/a
Non-Recourse Cost of Financing5.0%n/a

* Northland’s interest reflective of 49 per cent ownership. Assumed average EUR/CAD exchange rate at 1.53 in the first five years of operations. The 2021 CfD tariff of PLN 319.6/MWh (equivalent to EUR 71.8/MWh) with CfD price pegged to EUR at 4.45 PLN/EUR. In 2022, CfD changed from Polish Zloty to Euro denominated currency. Indexation base year moved up one year to 2022 using 2021 CPI. Northland’s equity includes amounts paid to acquire the original 49% stake in Baltic Power, and amount to approximately $0.1 billion.

²See Non-IFRS Financial Measures and Forward-Looking Statements below.

ABOUT NORTHLAND POWER

Northland Power is a global power producer dedicated to helping the clean energy transition by producing electricity from clean renewable resources. Founded in 1987, Northland has a long history of developing, building, owning and operating clean and green power infrastructure assets and is a global leader in offshore wind. In addition, Northland owns and manages a diversified generation mix including onshore renewables, efficient natural gas energy, as well as supplying energy through a regulated utility.

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with global offices in eight countries, Northland owns or has an economic interest in approximately 3.2 GW (net 2.7 GW) of operating capacity. The Company also has a significant inventory of projects in construction and in various stages of development encompassing approximately 16 GW of potential capacity.

Publicly traded since 1997, Northland's common shares, Series 1 and Series 2 preferred shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols NPI, NPI.PR.A and NPI.PR.B, respectively.

NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES

This press release includes references to the Company’s adjusted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”), Free Cash Flow, which are measures not prescribed by International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), and therefore do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Non-IFRS financial measures are presented at Northland’s share of underlying operations. These measures should not be considered alternatives to net income (loss), cash flow from operating activities or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with IFRS. Rather, these measures are provided to complement IFRS measures in the analysis of Northland’s results of operations from management’s perspective. Management believes that Northland’s non-IFRS financial measures are widely accepted and understood financial indicators used by investors and securities analysts to assess the performance of a company, including its ability to generate cash through operations. For a detailed description of each of the non-IFRS financial measures referred to above, including the reconciliations for such non-IFRS financial measure to their most directly comparable IFRS financial measure, see Section 1: Non-IFRS Financial Measures, Section 4.5: Adjusted EBITDA, and Section 4.6: Adjusted Free Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow in our MD&A for the three and six-month periods ended June 30, 2023, which is incorporated by reference and available under the Company’s profile on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements including certain future oriented financial information that are provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations and plans. Northland’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements may or may not transpire or occur. Readers are cautioned that such statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or include words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “predicts,” “believes,” “estimates,” “intends,” “targets,” “projects,” “forecasts” or negative versions thereof and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would” and “could.” These statements may include, without limitation, statements regarding Northland’s expectations for guidance, the completion of construction, the timing for and attainment of commercial operations, the project’s anticipated contributions to Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow, the expected generating capacity of the project, and the future operations, business, financial condition, financial results, priorities, ongoing objectives, strategies and outlook of Northland and its subsidiaries, all of which may differ from the expectations stated herein. These statements are based upon certain material factors or assumptions that were applied in developing the forward-looking statements, including the design specifications of development the projects, the provisions of contracts to which Northland or a subsidiary is a party, management’s current plans and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors, estimates, and assumptions that are believed to be appropriate in the circumstances. Although these forward-looking statements are based upon management’s current reasonable expectations and assumptions, they are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties. Some of the factors include, but are not limited to, risks associated with sales contracts, Northland’s reliance on the performance of its offshore wind facilities at Gemini, Nordsee One and Deutsche Bucht for approximately 50% of its Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow, counterparty risks, impacts of regional or global conflicts, contractual operating performance, variability of sales from generating facilities powered by intermittent renewable resources, offshore wind concentration, natural gas and power market risks, commodity price risks, operational risks, recovery of utility operating costs, Northland’s ability to resolve issues/delays with the relevant regulatory and/or government authorities, permitting, construction risks, procurement and supply chain risk, project development risks, disposition and joint venture risk, competition risks, acquisition risks, financing risks, interest rate and refinancing risks, liquidity risk, credit rating risk, currency fluctuation risk, variability of cash flow and potential impact on dividends, taxation, natural events, environmental risks, climate change, health and worker safety risks, market compliance risk, government regulations and policy risks, utility rate regulation risks, international activities, cybersecurity, data protection and reliance on information technology, labour relations, reputational risk, insurance risk, risks relating to co-ownership, bribery and corruption risk, legal contingencies, and the other factors described in the “Risks Factors” section of Northland’s 2022 Annual Information Form, which can be found at www.sedarplus.ca under Northland’s profile and on Northland’s website at northlandpower.com. Northland has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from current expectations, however, there may be other factors that cause actual results to differ materially from such expectations. Northland’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, and Northland cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements contained in this release are based on assumptions that were considered reasonable as of the date hereof. Other than as specifically required by law, Northland undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after such date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, whether as a result of new information, future events or results, or otherwise.

² See Non-IFRS Financial Measures and Forward-Looking Statements below.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Adam Beaumont, Vice President
Mr. Dario Neimarlija, Vice President
647-288-1019
[email protected]


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