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UAE’s Masdar gets $615 mln solar plant financing

Project gets $153 mln equity from partners - bankers.

March 7, 2011 11:41 by

Green energy firm Masdar got $615 million of bank financing for the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant and $153 million equity from its Spanish and French partners, banking sources said.

Eight foreign banks and two local banks underwrote the 22-year deal that was signed last week, bankers involved in the transaction told Reuters on Monday.

France’s Total , Spain’s Abengoa  and Abu Dhabi-based Masdar plan to build a $600 million plant, named Shams 1, which will have a 100 megawatt capacity and would qualify for carbon credits under the United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Masdar has a 60 percent stake in its flagship project, while the European partners hold 20 percent 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.

Masdar said an announcement is due later on Monday.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates aims to obtain 7 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi  underwrote $68 million and Union National Bank $41 million of the financing, bankers said.

“The financing was oversubscribed and pricing was competitive,” said another banker.

Japan’s Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Sumitomo, France’s Natixis  and Societe Generale  and Germany’s KfW and West LB  have each underwritten $68 million.

Other banks in the deal are BNP Paribas  and Mizuho . BNP Paribas acted as financial advisor.

Masdar delayed a planned $2.2 billion hydrogen power project and scrapped a solar module manufacturing facility in Abu Dhabi.

(Editing by; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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