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$600m financial close for Abu Dhabi's Shams 1

Strong interest sees region's largest solar project on track

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The region's largest solar project gets green light as financial close hits $600m (Getty Images)
The region's largest solar project gets green light as financial close hits $600m (Getty Images)

Shams Power Company has announced the financial close of Shams 1 at US$600m, the largest solar project transaction to date, combining finance from 10 regional and international lenders.

One of the world’s largest concentrated solar power projects, Shams 1 is set to directly contribute towards Abu Dhabi’s target of achieving seven per cent renewable energy power generation capacity by 2020. A joint venture between Masdar, Total and Abengoa will see the plant developed, built and maintained, at a site 120km southwest of Abu Dhabi.

The location was selected in part due to strong solar irradiation in the area, and also to supplement ongoing efforts to develop the western region of Abu Dhabi by providing renewable power as well as new jobs and a strengthened economy.

“With this financial close we are going one step forward toward the completion of the Middle East’s largest solar power plant,” said Philippe Boisseau, president of Total Gas and Power. “We are pleased to partner with Masdar and Abengoa in this ambitious project - we are on schedule and the work is going well in Madinat Zayed,” he added.

Discussing the project, Dr Sultan Al-Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said: “Shams 1 is a milestone project for the region, and will be a core contributor to Abu Dhabi’s long-term renewable energy objectives. As the first utility scale, commercial solar power project in the Middle East, Shams 1 represents the realisation of the vision that the Abu Dhabi leadership has for renewable energy in the Emirate.”
 

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