HSF, Pinsent Masons act as Chinese buyer gobbles up more renewable energy assets in Australia

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Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Pinsent Masons have advised as a Chinese company makes good on its aim of increasing its renewable energy capacity in Australia.

HSF acted for Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy Australia (BJCE Australia), which bought the 31-turbine Biala Wind Farm from Newtricity Developments Biala, whose shareholders was advised by Pinsent Masons, for an unspecified amount.

The project, located in the Southern Tablelands region of New South Wales, will have an installed capacity of about 100MW, enough to power about 40,000 homes. BJCE Australia expects construction to begin in mid-2018, with power generation to start in the second quarter of 2019.

BJCE Australia is a subsidiary of Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy, the leading supplier of wind power in China with a 3.3GW portfolio of renewable projects in the country. The company said it wants to build a 1GW renewable energy portfolio in Australia by 2020.

HSF provided specialist advice on corporate, foreign investment approval, planning, property, and stamp duty matters. Its team was led by partners Gerard Pike and Belinda Fan. It was supported by special counsel Kirstie Richards, senior associate Japonica Sheridan, and solicitors Sarah Oh and Christina Wheeler.

Partner Belinda Fan said that the acquisition follows neatly on BJCE Australia’s investment in the Gullen Range wind farm and Gullen solar farm.

Pinsent Masons fielded a finance and projects team in Australia to aid in the deal. It was comprised of partners Margaret Cole and Ewan Robertson, senior associate Kate Terry, associates Stanley Wang and Lucy Carter, and graduate lawyer Peitian Xia. The firm's finance and projects team in China also assisted on the China aspects of the sale.

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