ACWA Power has announced financial close for the 900 MW fifth phase of the giant Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, and revealed the bevy of international lenders that will be behind the $564 million facility.
ACWA on Thursday announced Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank would be among the lenders for the latest phase of the 5 GW mega project, alongside the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation founded in Saudi Arabia by the governments of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi, Syria, the UAE and Tunisia; and Dubai-based, state-owned Emirates NBD. The international backers for the 900 MW expansion are state-owned lenders the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China; Singapore-owned Standard Chartered Bank; and Kuwait’s sharia-compliant Warba Bank plus private companies Natixis, from France; and Saudi’s Samba Financial Group.
Further project recourse backing was provided by Dubai-based Commercial Bank International, with bridge lending facilities from compatriot lenders Commercial Bank of Dubai and Mashreqbank, as well as Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park commissioning body the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), which owns 60% of the Shuaa Energy 3 PSC special purpose vehicle set up to develop the 900 MW project. Shuaa 3 is 20% owned by ACWA and 20% by the Gulf Investment Corporation which is owned by the governments of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi and the UAE.
ACWA secured the 900 MW tender by agreeing to sell the electricity generated by the project to DEWA for $0.016953/kWh.
The project financing announcement made by ACWA revealed the latest phase of the giant solar field will feature tracker-mounted bifacial panels.
U.S. thin-film manufacturer First Solar installed the first, 13 MW phase of the solar field, with ACWA and Spanish engineer TSK adding a 200 MW second stage. French developer EDF is working on an 800 MW third phase which will also include 200 MW of concentrated solar power (CSP) generation capacity and ACWA also holds the contract for the 250 MW plus 700 MW of Concentrated Solar Power fourth phase of the project.
Shanghai Electric signed the engineering, procurement and construction contract to build the 900 MW fifth phase in July.
Securing this amount of long tenor project financing for Shuaa Energy 3 PSC even as COVID 19 pandemic continues to cause social and economic disruption to the entire world illustrates the combined capabilities and trusted partnership between ACWA Power and DEWA. We are delighted to have achieved this significant milestone, which reflects confidence of the financial community in this partnership, and the role and iconic status of the fifth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in delivering Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050
Project financing of this magnitude having been successfully raised from nine project finance lenders in the midst of a global pandemic, is the ultimate testament to DEWA’s credibility as a counterparty and the success of their IPP programme, as well as ACWA Power’s focus and proven ability to deliver power and desalinated water reliably and responsibly at low cost