A Korean windfarm supplier is the first company to use an ‘invest-to-export’ loan guarantee offered by UK Export Finance (UKEF).

SeAH Wind UK, a subsidiary of South Korea’s SeAH Steel Holding, began building a factory last July at the Teesworks freeport in northeastern England. Once completed, it will produce monopiles, the steel tubes used to secure wind turbines in the seabed.

The company has secured £367mn in financing from HSBC and Standard Chartered, £257mn of which is backed by an ‘invest-to-export’ version of UKEF’s export development guarantee. The product is designed to support investment in projects which have strong export potential, and was first made available in November 2021.

K-Sure, the South Korean ECA, is also providing a guarantee of £110mn to cover the remaining portion of the commercial lenders’ financing.

Standard Chartered was ECA co-ordinator, structuring bank, mandated lead arranger and agent for the financing. HSBC was a mandated lead arranger.

“With our long-standing partnership with UKEF and K-Sure and the bank’s commitment to accelerating the transition to net zero, we are proud to structure this financing for our important client SeAH Group and contribute to the UK supply chain in the wind sector,” says Yoshi Ichikawa, Standard Chartered’s head of structured export finance for Europe.

Philip Lewis, global co-head of export finance for HSBC, says the factory “plays an important role in supplying the offshore wind industry and helps meet the rising demand for renewable energy”.

UKEF says the SeAH Wind facility, which is set to be supplied by British Steel, will create up to 750 jobs by 2027 and underpin a further 1,500 in the wider supply chain. The monopiles are expected to be exported to buyers in continental Europe and the US.

The total cost of constructing the factory, near the town of Redcar, is £500mn. UKEF says it issued £3.3bn worth of support through export development guarantees in the 2022-23 financial year.