The financing obtained by Torresol Energy (the joint venture between Masdar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Company, and Sener, a leading international multidiscipline engineering company) for the construction of the Valle 1 and Valle 2 plants in Cadiz (Spain) has received the Deal of the Year 2009 award in the Clean Technology category of the Project Finance Deal of the Year Awards given by the Euromoney agency, which publishes the sector’s reference journal, Project Finance.
This is one of the most important prizes in the field of structured financing in Europe. The award, which was presented in London on 11 February, is in recognition of the work of Torresol Energy, as the project sponsor, and of the senior lenders, Banco Santander, La Caixa, BBVA, Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), Caja Madrid, Banco Español de Crédito and Banco Popular Español, as well as the law firm Latham & Watkins, which acted as legal advisor to Torresol on the transaction.
The financing obtained totalled €540 million over 20 years. The seven financial institutions acted as “Mandated Lead Arrangers” in this agreement, which guarantees the construction of the twin Valle 1 and Valle 2 plants – the total investment for which reaches €700 million – and which will be completed by 2011.
The Project Finance awards are the first in the industry, and began 11 years ago. On average, 300-350 of the best deals for a given year are entered for the awards, selecting the best in different industrial sectors. Torresol Energy has won the award in the Clean Technology category, where the innovative technology of the Valle 1 and Valle 2 solar plants has been recognised.
Investments total €1 billion
The financing of the Valle 1 and Valle 2 plants is in addition to that obtained previously for Torresol Energy’s flagship project, the Gemasolar solar thermal plant, which obtained dual financial backing in November 2008, from various banking institutions, and in November 2009 from the EIB. Work on the construction of this plant in Seville, with 17 MW of power and a production of 110 GWh per year, is progressing on schedule. With these three solar thermal projects, Torresol Energy has made total investments of €1 billion over the last year.
Torresol Energy, an alliance of the companies Sener and Masdar, was established with the aim of becoming a world leader in the concentrated solar power sector, and its mission is to promote the technological development and operation of large solar concentration plants all over the world, particularly in the so-called ‘sun belt’: the south of Europe, including Spain, North Africa, the Middle East and the southwest of the USA.
Torresol Energy is currently concentrating its efforts on the construction, in Seville, of the Gemasolar project (17MW / 110GWh of annual production) and the Valle 1 and Valle 2 plants (50 MW each and with an annual production of 170 GWh), which have cylindrical parabolic collector technology and are located in the province of Cadiz.
In the medium term, Torresol Energy has plans to construct at least two solar concentration plants a year, with which it will introduce and test new technologies with the aim of transforming concentrated solar power into a viable, competitive and sustainable alternative to traditional energies. The main objective of Torresol Energy's research activities is to attain significant reductions in the cost of generating this type of electricity.
Once operational, the Valle 1 and 2 plants will have a thermal storage system with a capacity of over 7.5 hours, will supply safe, clean energy to 80,000 households, and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 90,000 tonnes per year.
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