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Centrus Asset Management refinancing of Bibby Wavemaster Horizon

Centrus Asset Management (CAM) has financed Bibby Wavemaster Horizon, a newly built 90m service operation vessel. It will continue to be operated by Bibby Marine Services Ltd under a bareboat arrangement. The vessel will be used by Siemens Gamesa under a 10-year charter as an off-shore windfarm support vessel on the Hohe See and Albatros wind farms.  Horizon is based on Damen’s ASV 9020 design combining walk-to-work capabilities with class 2 dynamic positioning – providing enhanced safety for Siemens Gamesa engineers.

The vessel was financed via a sale and  leaseback with Bibby Marine Services Ltd which is a subsidiary of the 200-year old family-owned, Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group.  Under the lease back, Bibby shall operate the vessel under an innovatively structured long-term charter with the wind-turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa to support two Energie Baden-Württemberg AG / Enbridge-owned windfarms – Hohe See and Albatros. This will provide a base at sea for Siemens Gamesa technicians.

The “walk to work” vessel is part workshop, part warehouse, part office, and part accommodation and accommadating circa 40 SGRE technicians who will remain at sea servicing the wind-turbines for up to 30 days at a time. The vessel will provide access to the wind turbines offshore via a compensated gangway system and a smaller daughter craft.  This eliminates the need for time-consuming  transits to and from the shore each day on several smaller vessels. It also provides the highest level of safety and comfort for the crew and technicians whilst driving efficiencies for SGRE and EnBW.

This is important because Hohe See and Albatros are some 100km northwest of Heligoland. The 497MW Hohe See wind farm comprises 71 Siemens Gamesa 7MW, 154m high, wind turbines whilst 112MW Albatros comprises a further 16 turbines.  The two projects were built as one and started operation in the Autumn of 2019 and will provide energy for some 710,000 German households.  Horizon will be the sole vessel servicing the two projects.

The long-term charter with Siemens Gamesa and Energie Baden-Württemberg enabled CAM to secure long-term finance on attractive terms from investors.  Centrus Asset Management sees Horizon as a strategic investment in the expanding provision of support services to offshore wind.

Chris Hayes, Managing Director and CAM co-founder We were delighted that Bibby placed its trust in Centrus and its funding partners on this innovatively structured deal and we are proud to be part a team providing strategic support to the offshore renewables sector and look forward to increasing our presence in this sector.
Stephen Bolton, CEO Bibby Marine Services We are pleased to work with Centrus and its investors on this novel structure that ultimately is a no change situation with respect to our core service; BMS will continue to provide a game changing vessel and service level to its client SGRE for the next 10 years and we look forward to developing further similar opportunities for new clients with Centrus’ support.

Centrus were advised by Stephenson Harwood and Greenberg Traurig.  Centrus’ investors were advised by Watson, Farley & Williams and Bibby were advised by Norton Rose Fulbright.