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Total Gets $140 Million OPIC Loan for Chile’s Biggest Solar Farm

Total SA and two renewable-energy developers will receive about $140 million in loans from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp. for Chile’s biggest solar farm.

Work on the 70-megawatt project in the northern Atacama desert will start next month, Europe’s third-biggest energy company said today in a joint statement with Sunpower Corp., which will provide the panels, and Etrion Corp. The plant is expected to begin operations in early 2015 and cost about $200 million.

Etrion, based in Geneva, will pay for its 70 percent equity stake in the project with a $42 million credit facility from the Lundin family, its major shareholder, according to the statement. That stake will fall to 50 percent after the investment is paid off and zero after 20 years of operation.

Total will own 20 percent of so-called Project Salvador and Spain’s Solventus Energias Renovables 10 percent, according to the statement.

Chile has 6 megawatts of solar farms online, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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