ENEOP seals financing deal to complete 1200 MW allocation

PORTUGAL: Portuguese wind power consortium ENEOP has secured €300 million in project finance from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to develop the third and final tranche of the 1,200 MW of capacity it was awarded by government tender in 2006.

The Eneop cluster consists of 46 projects across Portugal
The Eneop cluster consists of 46 projects across Portugal

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The deal has provisional EIB approval and is currently undergoing due diligence, ENEOP president Aníbal Fernandes said last week.

The investment will allow ENEOP, which is headed by EDP Renováveis (EDPR) and Enel Green Power, to build 12 wind farms with a total capacity of 296MW. In 2011 the bank approved €260 million in project finance for the 376MW second tranche.

Given Portugal’s current moratorium on feed-in tariffs for new developments and the squeeze on project finance, ENEOP’s third tranche is likely to be the only significant expansion of wind power capacity in the short and medium term.

In a related development, EDPR yesterday announced a 43% jump in profits to €126 million in 2012 thanks to a 10% rise in both production and average selling price in its various global markets.

Net debt was cut by €33 million year-on-year to €3.4 billion thanks to minority stake transactions with Borealis and China Three Gorges.

Finance not policy

The deal follows recent comments at EWEA 2013 by Portuguese energy minister Artur Trindade who claimed the poor growth of Portugal's wind capacity is down to the markets and not the country's energy policy.

Speaking at EWEA 2013, Trindade said no regulation had been changed on existing projects. The reason investment has slowed down is down to the financial markets.

"I've been asking [developers] why are you not completing the capacity that has been granted to you. We have a large amount of wind capacity that is already contracted by the system," Trindade said.

"So developers have to build it and they have to honour the terms of the contract they have won."

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