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Godawari Gets Bank Funding for Solar-Thermal Plant in India

Godawari Power & Ispat Ltd., one of the seven companies that won licenses to build India’s first solar-thermal plants, has arranged funding for its project from the Bank of Baroda.

The Raipur, Chhattisgarh-based developer won project financing for its planned 50-megawatt solar plant in Rajasthan state, Managing Director B.L. Agrawal said today by telephone. He declined to give details.

Godawari Power said in December that it planned to invest 7 billion rupees ($157 million) in the project. The shares advanced 2.1 percent to 164.95 rupees as of 2:53 p.m. after rising as much as 3.3 percent in Mumbai trading.

The Indian government has set a July 9 deadline for companies that won solar licenses in an auction last December to complete funding for their projects or risk losing their permits and as much as $41 million in bank guarantees.

Godawari Power is the first of the seven solar-thermal projects, which account for 75 percent of the 620 megawatts of capacity awarded, to confirm that it has secured funding. The company has experience building conventional power infrastructure for its main steel-making business.

The December auction issued licenses for 150 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity to 30 companies. About half of those companies have arranged financing, industry group Forum for the Advancement of Solar Thermal said in a June 30 e-mail.

Solar thermal plants use sunlight to heat liquids that produce steam for generators; photovoltaic plants use panels to turn sunlight directly into power.

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