Fourth successful financial close for Solar Millennium in the Spanish Market; Roughly three quarters of the construction and investment costs will be financed by bank loans.

RREEF Infrastructure has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement to acquire a 49 percent shareholding in the project company of  the “Arenales Project”, located near Morón de la Frontera (Seville).  The purchase is being made by the RREEF Pan-European Infrastructure Fund, L.P. via its subsidiary Fronterasol B.V.

OHL Industrial is taking over as the EPC contractor; Solar Millennium Group will be responsible for the project development during construction as well as certain solarfield subsystems such as the thermal storage.

olar Millennium AG, together with OHL Industrial, a company of the Spanish construction group Obrascón Huarte Lain, S.A. (OHL), sold 49 percent of the project company of the planned 50 MW power plant Arenales to the RREEF Pan-European Infrastructure Fund, L.P., a fund managed by RREEF Infrastructure, a business unit of Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division.

The remaining 51 percent will continue to be held by Solar Millennium (26 percent) and OHL (25 percent). Alongside the sale, the financing contracts with a group of banks from Spain and France, and the general contractor agreement with the OHL Group were signed. Roughly three quarters of the construction and investment costs will be financed with the bank loan, while the rest will come from the project company shareholders on a pro-rata basis. 

Ecolaire Espana S.A., a company of the OHL Group, will take on construction of the power plant as the general contractor. The project development and project company management during construction will be carried out by Milenio Solar Desarrollo de Proyectos, the Spanish subsidiary of the Solar Millennium Group. The technology subsidiary Flagsol GmbH will take on the construction of the thermal storage unit and the heat transfer fluid system on behalf of the general contractor. The partners have already begun implementing the first ground-breaking measures in the scope of an early-work agreement.  

Dr. Christoph Wolff, CEO of Solar Millennium: "With Arenales, we’re already developing our fifth solar-thermal power plant in Spain. In closing the financing, we have now reached our first sub-goal for the current fiscal year. The rapid realization from the project’s purchase to the financial close is an example of the envisaged stabilization of sales and earnings through projects with shorter returns on investments. Moreover, the partnership with OHL provides an excellent basis for possible cooperation in other projects."

The Arenales plant is pre-registered with the Spanish government. This secures compensation from the power generated in accordance with the Spanish feed-in law for renewable energy. The power plant is scheduled to be fed into the Spanish grid starting in 2013. OHL and Solar Millennium just took over Arenales from Fotowatio Renewable Ventures in April 2011. 

"Because of the considerable debt ratio we’re able to finance our equity ratio without the emission of funds from our own resources,” adds Dr. Wolff. “In line with our business model, we’re also not ruling out the possibility of a sale of additional project shares."

Arenales project construction is just starting near the town of Morón de la Frontera in the province of Seville in Andalusia. The plant is expected to supply some 150,000 people with climate-friendly electricity. With the help of a thermal storage unit, this power plant, like the Andasol plants, will also supply reliable solar power after the sun goes down.

All parties agreed to keep the sale price of the project company shares confidential. The sale of shares is subject to EU antitrust approval, which is expected to occur in August 2011.

Solar Millennium AG, Erlangen, (ISIN DE0007218406) is an international company in the renewable energy sector, with its main focus on solar-thermal power plants. Together with its subsidiaries and associates, the Company specializes in parabolic trough power plants and has managed to take a globally leading position in this field. Solar Millennium strives to further extend its expertise in the area of solar-thermal power plants with the aim of achieving and securing sustainable technology leadership.

As such, the Company covers all important business sectors along the value chain for solar-thermal power plants: from project development and financing to the technology and the turnkey construction and operation of power plants. In Spain, Solar Millennium developed Europe’s first parabolic trough power plants and realized these together with partners. Additional projects are planned around the world with an overall capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts: here the current regional focus is on Spain, the US, the Middle East and North Africa. 

OHL Industrial was created recently by the OHL Group in Order to offer comprehensive services to clients within the industrial sector, in the capacity as EPC project contractor. In harmony with the group´s policy, OHL Industrial has a clear international vocation and is supported by professionals who boast vast international experience. OHL Industrial works closely with its clients, offering them the most economical solutions for their projects, including the possibility of long term concession. The main areas of activity of OHL Industrial are: Oil & Gas, Refinery, Petrochemicals, Power, Chemistry, Mining, Cement and Metallurgy. The services in EPC projects include: Feasibility studies, Engineering, Procurement, Logistics, Construction, Commissioning, Project Management, O&M, Quality, HSE and Financial Solutions.

RREEF Infrastructure is the infrastructure asset management business within Deutsche Asset Management, the asset management division of Deutsche Bank AG. RREEF Infrastructure invests predominantly in economic infrastructure such as transportation, utilities and energy related assets. RREEF Infrastructure has approximately €8.0 billion in assets under management globally as of 31 March 2011, supported by a platform that consisting of approximately 35 employees. In Europe, the team consists of 19 investment professionals managing approximately €5.2 billion of assets under management, with senior professionals possessing, on average, over 17 years of infrastructure experience. 

Solar-thermal power plants generate electricity by converting solar radiation into heat energy. In a parabolic trough power plant, trough-shaped mirrors concentrate the incidental radiation onto a pipe in the focal line of the collector. Its absorption heats a fluid heat medium in the pipe, generating steam in the power block through a heat exchanger. As in conventional power plants, the steam powers a turbine to generate electricity. By integrating thermal storage, electricity can be supplied on demand, even after sunset.