A recent CSP Today webinar showed the factors driving concentrated solar power project finance lending in South Africa. Large capital requirements, a highly competitive environment and technology risk were the main topic

In a poll conducted during the CSP Today’s ‘Secure Project Financing in South Africa’ webinar, over 200 participants were asked to share their views on the biggest challenge faced by projects between bid submission and financial close. 43% decided that agreeing on commercial terms with a large syndicate of banks on the deal was the main challenge.

According to the CSP Today Global Tracker, parabolic trough has over 2750 MW in operation worldwide compared to the 103 MW in operation from tower. During the webinar, Nicolas Tucker, consultant at Investec’s Power and Infrastructure Finance, underlined that the “reality is, if banks are required to choose between a parabolic trough and a tower project, banks will be more comfortable supporting a trough project as it’s a more mature technology”.

South African company, Emvelo, and Spanish developer, Abengoa – who already have two plants in South Africa under construction – must now meet financial deadlines no later than 30 July 2014. It’s important that these two parabolic trough projects reach financial close and that there are no delays for international credibility, to sustain investor confidence in South Africa’s renewable program, and to avoid unnecessary additional costs for the Independent Power Producers.

The proceedings of the webinar can be viewed in full at no cost, by following the link below: http://www.csptoday.com/southafrica/