Masdar secures $615m financing for 100 MW CSP plant

UAE renewable energy firm Masdar has secured $615m of bank financing for the world's largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant and $153m equity from its Spanish and French partners.
Eight foreign banks and two local banks underwrote the 22-year deal that was signed last week, bankers involved in the transaction told Reuters.
France's Total , Spain's Abengoa and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar plan to build $600m plant, named Shams 1, which will have a 100 MW capacity and would qualify for carbon credits under the United Nation's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Masdar has a 60 per cent stake in Shams Power Company while the European partners hold 20 per cent each.
"There was high interest from several banks with big tickets due to the project's attractiveness," said one banker, adding that the project is structured as a typical independent power project (IPP) and with a power purchase agreement with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity (ADWEC) in place.
Lenders showed strong interest in the financing that was over-subscribed with commitments totalling $900m, Masdar said in a statement.
Construction began in the third quarter of 2010 and is expected to be completed in about two years, the Masdar statement said.
Meanwhile, Masdar is expected to invite bids to build its next solar project, Noor 1, by early May, reports MEED. Masdar has issued a request for qualification (RFQ) to prospective developers for the 100MW photovoltaic solar project.

Companies have until mid-March to respond. The request for proposals (RFP) will follow at the end of April or early-May. The facility will be tendered as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) project.

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