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02 April 2015

Xina Solar One CSP plant achieves financial close, South Africa

The US$880 million Xina concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Pofadder, South Africa has successfully reached financial close. Mott MacDonald was lenders’ technical advisor during the project’s financing and is now monitoring construction in an ongoing role.

Awarded during the third round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer (REIPPP) programme, the 100MW Xina plant will supply clean and dispatchable electricity to South Africa's power utility Eskom under a 20-year power purchase agreement. It will produce energy to serve over 95,000 households and will prevent the emission of 348,000 tons of CO2 every year. The plant will also include a five-hour thermal energy storage system that will use molten salts to assist in meeting evening peak demand.

During the technical due diligence phase, Mott MacDonald undertook technical, environmental, social and permitting reviews and solar resource, energy yield and site assessments. The consultancy also reviewed the project’s financial model and implementation schedule, as well as power purchase, engineering, procurement & construction and operation & maintenance agreements. Mott MacDonald will now monitor the project’s progress against the baseline construction schedule and budget.

Javier Relancio, Mott MacDonald’s project manager, said: “Mott MacDonald is a market leader for CSP technology in South Africa. To date, we have supported lenders on five of the seven CSP projects that have been successful under the country’s REIPPP programme. These projects will provide clean and reliable electricity, helping South Africa to meet its growing energy demands and target to introduce up to 17,800MW of renewable energy by 2030.”

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