UAE and Spain's JV secures loan

Masdar City. The 20-year loan would come from seven Spanish institutions. (EB FILE)

Torresol Energy, a joint venture between Masdar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, and Spain's engineering company Sener, has secured $760 million (Dh2.7 billion) in loans for a $1bn concentrated solar plant.

The loan will be used to finance the construction of its twin Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants – Valle 1 and Valle 2 – in Andalucia, Spain. The total investment value for the two plants is $1bn, said a statement.

Conditions for raising financing had improved since last year but were still tough, said Jose Morales, Chief Financial Officer for Sener. The financial crisis restricted the availability of credit in much of the world last year.

"It was not as difficult as before, but challenging to secure finance," he said.

The 20-year loan would come from seven Spanish institutions and the rest of the financing would come from Masdar and Sener as equity contributions, Morales said.

The plants were scheduled for completion in 2011, after construction began last March. Torresol's first project, the $40m Gemsolar central tower plant with capacity of 17 MW is under construction and would be operational in early

2011, Enrique Sendagorta, Chairman of Torresol, said. That plant is in the province of Seville.

Valle 1 and Valle 2 would produce enough energy to power 80,000 homes and save 90,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions that would have otherwise been generated by conventional power generation, he said.

Torresol plans to build new solar power projects in southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the south-western United States, he added.

Concentrated solar power plants use the sun's rays to heat up liquid to generate stem power, much like conventional gas or coal plants.

A reflective tower can be used to concentrate the sunlight. Torresol Energy was established in March 2008.

Sener holds 60 per cent and Abu Dhabi Government run Masdar holds the remaining 40 per cent. (With output from agencies)

 

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