Abengoa Closes Financing for 100-MW STEG Project in South Africa With US$660-Million Deal

Abengoa has secured US$660 million in loans to close financing for a 100-megawatt solar thermal project in South Africa.

The non-recourse project financing agreements is a combination of funding from development financial institutions such as the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corp., Industrial Development Corp. and the Development Bank of Southern Africa; and local investment banks such as Absa member of Barclays, Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Ltd.

The Xina Solar One project, which has a total cost of US$880 million, will use parabolic trough technology with a five-hour thermal energy storage system using molten salts that assists in meeting the evening peak demand. Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, will buy the output under the 20-year power purchase agreement signed in late 2014.

Xina Solar One is developed as a joint venture in which Abengoa holds 40% stake and the rest by Idustrial Development Corp., the Public Investment Corp. and Kaxu Community Trust.

Xina Solar One will be located close to Pofadder, in the Northern Cape Province, next to 100-MW KaXu Solar One, the first STE power plant in commercial operation in South Africa.  The two projects, along with 50-MW Khi Solar One that is under advanced stage of construction, were awarded by the Department of Energy of South Africa under its Independent Power Producer Program.

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