A joint venture of Shikun & Binui and Abengoa has won the build, operate, transfer concession for a 121MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Ashalim in Israel.

BrightSource and Alstom have approached local and international lenders about a financing for the Eu575 million ($743 million) Megalim CSP in Israel.

BrightSource’s only current international solar thermal projects are both located in Israel’s Negev Desert: the 6MW Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC), operational since 2008; and the 121MW Megalim project, which it is developing in a joint venture with Alstom. Megalim Solar Power, a joint-venture of BrightSource and Alstom has filed a request for a €150 million loan with European Investment Bank to finance the planned Ashalim CSP plant in Israel. The European Investment Bank has included the Ashalim Solar Thermal Plant project as a project to be financed with up to $150 million out of a €575 million total cost.

The project is listed as "under appraisal" since May 27, 2013. According to EIB "The promoter was selected following a formal international procedure, which attracted sufficient international interest. However, the project concession has a local preference element in accordance with Israeli law, requiring the promoter to procure domestically 20% of its investment. Based on the information available at this stage, the required local component seems to be below the level at which parts can naturally be sourced locally and at economic prices. The Bank will assess this in more detail during the appraisal with the objective of verifying whether the project will meet the Bank’s criteria of economy and efficiency".

Regarding environmental issues, "If the project were located in the EU, it would fall under Annex II of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (85/337/EEC) as amended, requiring the competent national authority to determine the need for an EIA. Under Israeli Law, the project requires an EIA including initial scoping and public consultation, which was carried out and approved in Dec 2012. During appraisal, the Bank will ensure that the project complies with the Bank’s principles and standards regarding environmental and social issues", EIB states.

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