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2 February 20242 minute read

DLA Piper advises Grupo Cobra on energy transmission project

DLA Piper is advising Spanish-based Grupo Cobra on its role in the delivery of the Central West Orana Renewable Energy Zone Transmission Network, located in central New South Wales (NSW).

The project involves the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of 330kV and 500kV clean energy transmission lines and associated infrastructure, with an estimated investment of AUD10 billion by 2030 and a concession period of 35 years.

“This innovative project will support the decarbonisation and stabilisation of the NSW electricity grid. It will be Grupo Cobra’s first major project in Australia,” said José de Ponte, Partner, DLA Piper.

“We were delighted to advise on this unique project, which is the first of its kind in the Australian market – the delivery of major, regulated, renewable energy transmission infrastructure via a PPP structure,” said José.

“The new transmission infrastructure will enable generators (such as solar and wind) and energy storage providers to connect to the grid,” José added.

Grupo Cobra, together with its consortium partners Acciona and Endeavour Energy, entered into a Commitment Deed with the NSW Government just before Christmas, to be the preferred Network Operator for this project.

Grupo Cobra is a specialist provider of water, gas, electricity and communications distribution networks, and a leader in renewable energies in Spain and Latin America.

The DLA Piper team was led by José de Ponte (Partner, Finance, Projects & Restructuring) and supported by Victoria Brockhall (Senior Associate), Marnie Calli (Special Counsel), Akaash Singh (Senior Associate), and Halima Ansari (Solicitor). Specialist advice was provided by Gerry Bean (Senior Consultant), Chris Mitchell Corporate Partner), Nathaniel Rowe (Senior Associate) and Hugh Wetherill (Solicitor) on corporate structuring and inward investment. Financing advice was provided by Alex Regan (Partner), Caroline Rowe (Special Counsel) and Sophia Davies (Solicitor). Taxation advice was provided by Adam Smith (Partner) and Jason Carli (Senior Associate). Paula Gonzalez de Castejon (Partner) provide local law advice from our Madrid office.

“The transmission infrastructure required a number of complex environmental, planning and other regulatory approvals. Covering an area of about 20,000 square kilometres, the geographical scope of the project is immense,” José added.

“The project is a good example of the complex multi-jurisdictional advice we can provide,” said José.