NAT 181229 DEWA 3
All of the funds have been put together for the fifth phase of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: All of the financing deals for the 900MW solar PV project at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. This is the fifth phase of the Park’s development.

The ‘Shuaa Energy 3 PSC’ is the special purpose vehicle incorporated for the project, with 60 per cent ownership by the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) and the balance split between Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC).

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The 900MW solar PV plant, which will use bi-facial panels with tracking technology, is expected to cost around $564 million. On commissioning, it will generate one of the “lowest levelised cost of electricity in the world of 1.6953 US cents per kWh”.

The EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) agreement for the project was signed with Shanghai Electric in July.

Thinking long-term

The financing was done by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Emirates NBD Bank, Natixis, SAMBA Financial Group, Standard Chartered Bank and Warba Bank. (A project recourse mezzanine tranche was provided by Commercial Bank International and equity bridge facilities provided by Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD Bank and Mashreqbank.)

“Securing this amount of long tenor project financing for Shuaa Energy 3 PSC even as COVID 19 pandemic continues to cause social and economic disruption to the entire world illustrates the combined capabilities and trusted partnership between ACWA Power and DEWA,” said Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power.

“We are delighted to have achieved this significant milestone, which reflects confidence of the financial community in this partnership, and the iconic status of the fifth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in delivering Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050.”

Complex structure
The financing for the project is based on the principles of 'limited recourse' project financing with the senior debt provided by a number of banks. There is also a 'project recourse mezzanine tranche' committed by a regional bank, structured as a 27-year 'soft mini-perm' financing with both conventional and Islamic tranches.

In addition, the financing structure featured a set of equity bridge loans provided by local banks and also by DEWA.