Abengoa Closes $660 Million in Financing for Africa Solar

Abengoa SA, an energy and environment company based in Spain, closed $660 million in project financing for a solar power plant in South Africa.

The financing is for a 100-megawatt solar thermal plant it plans to build in Northern Cape Province. The Xina Solar One facility will cost $880 million in total and generate enough electricity for at least 95,000 homes, Abengoa said.

Institutions including the African Development Bank and Development Bank of South Africa as well as local investment banks including Nedbank Group Ltd. took part in the non-recourse financing agreement. The Xina project will supply electricity to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africa’s power utility, under a 20-year power-purchase agreement.

Abengoa, which also converts biomass into biofuels and produces drinking water from seawater, will own 40 percent and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corp., Public Investment Corp. and KaXu Community Trust the rest, according to the statement. South Africa aims to install as much as 17,800 megawatts of clean energy by 2030 to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

The project, located close to Pofadder, will be built next to Abengoa’s KaXu Solar One plant that’s also 100 megawatts. The plant will include a thermal energy-storage system to help balance peaks between supply and demand.