Abengoa has closed, together with its partner the Israeli global infrastructure group Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy, the non-recourse project financing for Ashalim CSP plant. The total investment of the project will be approximately USD 1 billion.
The non-recourse project financing agreement combines financing from development financial institutions such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB); in addition to local commercial banks such as Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim. Ashalim will supply clean electricity to the Israel Electricity Corporation under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed in late 2013.
The 110 MW CSP plant Ashalim will be able to store energy in order to produce electricity whenever required after sunset. It will be the largest solar plant in Israel and it will feature parabolic trough technology with a 4.5 hour thermal energy storage system using molten salts. This plant will produce clean and dispatchable energy to serve more than 69,000 households, while preventing the emission of 463,000 tons of CO2 annually.
Construction of Ashalim is expected to start before the end of July 2015 in Western Negev Desert in Israel, 35 km south of the city of Beer Sheva, close to the village of Ashalim, on an area designated by the Israeli authorities. The project is expected to create an average workforce of 633 jobs during construction, and about 60 people for plant operation and maintenance.