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EISER arranges EUR475 million long-term project financing for Spanish solar thermal plants

EISER Infrastructure Partners (EISER), through its Global Infrastructure Fund, has arranged EUR475 million of long-term project financing for Aries Solar Termoeléctrica S.L. (ASTE”, which is developing two 50 MW solar thermal power plants, ASTE-1A and ASTE-1B, near Ciudad Real, Spain.

EISER originally invested in ASTE in October 2007 and has been integral to the implementation of the two projects, financing much of the early stages of procurement and heavily involved in negotiating key project contracts including the construction and operation agreements, land agreements and financing contracts.

As part of the transaction EISER sold a majority stake in ASTE to the Elecnor Group (Elecnor), and agreed the purchase from Elecnor of a significant minority stake in Dioxipe Solar S.L (Dioxipe), a 50 MW solar thermal power plant development in Extremadura, near the border with Portugal.

Elecnor now owns a majority stake, and EISER a significant minority stake, in all three plants. Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A., a Spanish engineering company, owns the remaining stakes in both ASTE and Dioxipe.

Jaime Hector, Partner at EISER Infrastructure Partners, says: “The ASTE projects, together with our investment in Dioxipe, are significant and strategically important investments for our first fund.  The successful completion of the sale, purchase and long-term project financing arrangements is evidence of our ability to manage and implement greenfield projects and their associated risks.  Securing a debt package of this size in a difficult market is also a testament to the strength of the company and its progress under our ownership.

Since our initial investment in ASTE we have navigated successfully through a variety of challenges, from the global financial crisis to the European sovereign debt crisis and the revision of renewable energy incentives in Spain.  We have been able to mitigate the risks while moving the project forward to the point where construction is now ahead of schedule.”

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