Consortium led by Saudi’s ACWA Power to raise over $2bn for Dubai solar project

The loan will fund the $4.3bn Noor Energy 1 project, expected to become the world’s largest single-site concentrated solar power plant

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power leads a consortium which over the next few weeks is expected to conclude financing of more than $2bn for a 950 megawatt (MW) concentrated solar power project in Dubai, sources familiar with the matter said.

The loan, provided by a group of mostly international banks, will back the development of Noor Energy 1, a $4.3bn project expected to be the largest single-site concentrated solar power plant in the world.

Noor Energy 1, jointly owned by ACWA Power, China’s Silk Road Fund and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), is the fourth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park in Dubai, a project that aims to reach a capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030.

ACWA declined to comment and DEWA did not respond to requests for immediate comment.

The project financing, which one of the sources said will be $2.2bn in total, has different maturities going up to around 25 years.

It will be provided by a consortium of banks including Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, and also Standard Chartered, Natixis and Union National Bank, the sources said.

In November DEWA signed an amendment to a power purchase agreement with ACWA Power, adding 250 MW of photovoltaic solar panels to an original plan of 700 MW.

Following the amendment, the total investment required for the project reached Dhs16bn ($4.36bn), the Dubai utility said at the time.

Shanghai Electric has been hired as engineering, procurement and construction contractor.