ACWA Power team reaches fin close on 1.5-GW PV project in Saudi Arabia

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August 16 (Renewables Now) - Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power on Sunday said that financial close has been reached on the 1.5-GW Sudair solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Saudi Arabia.

The project was unveiled at the inauguration ceremony of the 300-MW Sakaka solar farm in April this year together with an announcement of the signing of a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for its output with the Saudi Power Procurement Company.

Acwa Power also said on Sunday that the Saudi Aramco Power Company (SAPCO), part of Aramco, has joined the Sudair developing consortium. ACWA Power, in which the Public Investment Fund (PIF) owns a 50% stake, and Water and Electricity Holding Company (Badeel), a fully-owned portfolio company of the sovereign wealth fund, will each own 35% of the special purpose vehicle set up for the project after SAPCO took 30%.

The Sudair project, located at Sudair Industrial City, is the first project under PIF’s renewable energy programme and will contribute to its commitment to deploy 70% of the renewable energy capacity as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan. Under the plan, the country aims at reaching an installed renewables capacity of 58.7 GW, with solar PV accounting for 40 GW.

The SAR-3.4-billion (USD 905m/EUR 768m) Sudair scheme is one of the largest single-contracted PV plants globally and the largest in Saudi Arabia. It will use bi-facial modules with tracking technology and is expected to generate enough power to supply 185,000 homes.

The financing has been structured to involve limited recourse project financing and features a set of equity bridge facilities. The senior debt has been organised as a soft mini perm facility with a 28-year tenor and both conventional as well as Islamic tranches, ACWA Power said.

Mizuho Bank Ltd, Riyad Bank, Korea Development Bank, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp and Standard Chartered Bank acted as senior lenders and mandated lead arrangers. Bank Al Bilad, Saudi British Bank and SMBC International Plc provided the equity bridge facilities.

(SAR 1 = USD 0.266/EUR 0.226)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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