ACWA Power seals Noor 1 and 2 financing
Saudi Arabian company achieves financial close for Moroccan CSP projects.
ACWA Power has achieved financial close of the Independent Power Projects of NOOR II (200MW) and NOOR III (150MW) concentrated solar power (CSP) projects in Morocco.
The total value of both projects of about $2bn will be funded on 80/20 debt to equity basis with debt entirely financed by Masen with lending funds secured from the African Development Bank, the “Agence Française de Développement”, the Clean Technology Fund, the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and the World Bank.
The Saudi-based company was selected in January as preferred bidder for both plants after submitting the lowest combined tariff.
Paddy Padmanathan-led ACWA has previously also won the contract to develop the 160MW Noor 1 project in Morocco.
ACWA signed 25-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) in March.
An EPC consortium constituted by SENER and SEPCO III will construct both projects, which will begin construction immediately and are expected to be in commercial operation during in the second half of 2017.
Masen will hold 25% of the equity in both projects while technology partner SENER will also be an equity investor in NOOR II.
A consortium of ACWA Power subsidiary NOMAC and Masen will undertake the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the plants.
Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power said: “NOOR I has always been special for ACWA Power – it was our first Greenfield renewable project and that too with a world record tariff at that time.
“We built on the success of NOOR I, to offer the most competitive solutions for NOOR II and NOOR III, and are particularly delighted to have now achieved financial close of these two projects.
“We are humbled to collaborate with MASEN and partake in this visionary and ambitious renewable energy program of Morocco, which aims to host 2 GW of solar power by 2020.”
NOOR II project is a 200MW solar power plant based on concentrated solar power technology (CSP) using parabolic trough with 7.2 hours molten salt storage.
The 150MW NOOR III project is a CSP project using a central tower with eight hours molten salt storage.
Both projects constitute the second phase of the NOOR Solar Complex in Ouarzazate, 500 km south of Rabat in Morocco, which is planned tol be the largest solar power complex in the world with 2GW of power by 2020.