Work starts on 115MW Chile wind farm

CHILE: Construction of Chile's largest wind farm has begun following financial close of the 115MW El ArrayƔn project's debt facilities on Friday.

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Located approximately 400km north of Santiago on the Chilean coast, El Arrayán is being developed by US firm Pattern Energy Group, along with AEI and Chile's Antofagasta Minerals. It will comprise 50 Siemens 2.3MW turbines.

The sponsors secured $225 million in debt to build the scheme, spread across several project finance facilities including a two-year construction bridge loan and a 15-year term loan.

Banks providing debt included Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Crédit Agricole and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, while Danish export credit agency EKF provided guaranteed loans.

In addition to the $225 million of debt facilities, Chile's CorpBanca provided a $20 million subordinated loan facility, bringing the total funds secured for building the project to $245 million.

The project is being built by Skanska Chile, and is due to being operating in early 2014. It has a 20-year PPA with mining company Minera Los Pelambres, a subsidiary of Chilean conglomerate Antofagasta, which was signed in November 2011.

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