Iberdrola Renovables, the renewable arm of Spanish utility Iberdrola, has signed a EUR 604 million syndicated long term loan to finance the growth plans of Società Energie Rinnovabili (SER), its 50-50 joint venture in Italy with Italian energy group API Holding. Iberdrola and API are planning to develop, construct and operate seven wind farms with a combined capacity of about 350 MW, six of which will be in Sicily and one in Puglia. Construction has begun on the first three projects. The Iberdrola loan is being underwritten by 11 banks, with the main underwriters being Royal Bank of Scotland, BBVA, Fortis, Calyon, BNP Paribas, ING and Italian lenders Unicredito and Intesa. The loan is divided into three separate issues, of which one for EUR 120 million will be refinanced in the next two months with funds from Italian state-controlled lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. Funds will be used by SER to develop and build wind farms, pay taxes stemming from that investment, make interest payments during construction and provide working capital. Once completed, the projects will be added to Iberdrola's wind projects in Italy. Outside of its agreement with API, Iberdrola has a portfolio of 200 MW in Italian wind farms, with options for an additional 100 MW.
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