$275m finance secured for Oman’s first solar PV project

ACWA Power, along with project partners Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and the Alternative Energy Projects Co (AEPC), announced it had secured $275 million from six lenders to complete the finance for the $400 million 500MW Ibri II solar project, which will be funded on a 70:30, debt-to-equity basis.
Executives from the consortium behind Oman’s largest solar project to date have spoken of the effort required to achieve financial closure for the project, given the financial battering markets are enduring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A syndicate of six international and local lenders, will provide the $275 million senior debt.
The mandated lead banks including Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Bank Muscat, Riyad Bank (Saudi Arabia), Siemens Bank (Germany), Standard Chartered Bank (UK) and Warba Bank (Kuwait), helped structure the largest utility scale solar PV project in Oman on a  16.5 year door-to-door tenor.
ACWA Power said this deal also represents the first renewable energy financing in Oman as well as the GCC region by AIIB, the Beijing headquartered international multilateral development bank.
“Achievement of this milestone together with our partners — co-shareholders, contractors and the bank group comprising of international and local banks — notwithstanding the trying financial and macroeconomic challenges prevalent the world over resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak demonstrates our structuring capabilities, the resilience of our long lasting partnerships and our commitment to  Oman Power & Water Procurement Company (OPWP).
The project which is the largest utility scale Solar PV project in Oman, will also be the first renewable energy financing for AIIB in the GCC region, paving the way for a stronger partnership with the Beijing based international multilateral bank in the future,” said Rajit Nanda, chief investment officer for developer partner ACWA Power, in a press release issued to announce financial closure of project funding.
ACWA president and CEO Paddy Padmanathan added: “Successfully achieving financial closure during these challenging times is a testament to the determination of all the stakeholders in this project to keep doing the best we can within the constraints we all need to work within.”
The project, the Beijing-led AIIB’s first renewable energy investment in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region, is scheduled to be commissioned this year, according to the original tender and notwithstanding potential coronavirus disruption to project timescales.