IIICorp Opportunity of the Week: Sonnedix gets loan approval from Green Climate Fund for 143MW solar project in Chile worth USD 265m

The South Korea-based Green Climate Fund recently approved a loan worth USD 49m to a large-scale solar PV project coming up in the Atacama desert in northern Chile implemented by US-based independent power producer (IPP) Sonnedix. Sonnedix, founded in 2010, has raised over USD 554m in equity to date from founders, management, private, and institutional investors. Sonnedix is a JV owned and controlled by Sonnedix Global Holdings Ltd and IIF Solar Investment Ltd (JPM IIF), an entity controlled by the Infrastructure Investment Fund.

The project will have an installed capacity of 143MW (likely AC-rated, while DC-rated capacity will be around 170MW). The project will have the capacity for expansion up to 250MW. The project is expected to require a total investment of USD 265m, with the USD 49m loan being disbursed through the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF). The project will start selling electricity at USD 4.4 per kWh from 2017 onward. This tariff is however expected to increase gradually to reach USD 8 per kWh by 2035.

The EPC and operation and maintenance (O&M) for the project is by Biosar Energy SA, which was acquired in 2012 by the Greece-based AKTOR S.A.

To connect the Atacama solar PV plant power substation, 45.5km of transmission lines and grid connection equipment at the Lagunas substation will be developed by Transelec SA under a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract and repaid under a 25-year lease with fixed payments and repurchase option of USD 1.

Recently, the Chile government approved legislation that will create a new interconnected transmission network to be established alongside a new independent operator. This will ensure that power generated from renewable energy projects located in remote regions of the country is supplied to population centers.

 

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