Record financing landed in Spain

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Spain's dominant developer, Energía Hidroeléctrica de Navarra (EHN), has clinched what it says is not only Spain's largest ever project finance deal but also the largest credit conceded to renewables development anywhere. The syndicated, 15-year loan of EUR 913.5 million (ESP 152 billion) will go to EHN's affiliate, Energías Eólicas Europeas (EEE), for 31 wind plant in Castile la Mancha totalling 1173 MW.

All projects are planned for completion by end 2002 and the financing includes the 420 MW that EEE has already put on-line over the last two years (Windpower Monthly, May 2000). The deal has been underwritten by five financial entities, led by Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria and joined by banks Ahorro Corporación and Banesto in Spain. Backing from France's Crédit Agricole Indosuez and Germany's Westduestche Landezsbank Girozentralecomes illustrates the growing attraction of Spain's wind market abroad.

EHN says the contracts with each of the banks will be finalised by June 15. The deal comes as part of a recent wave of large project finance contracts this year in Spain, together with the entry of financial institutions into the business of capitalising developing companies (Windpower Monthly, March 2001). "The market is getting red hot," says Mats-O Fällman of the Swedish based Spanish Investment Services. This year alone, the EHN-EEE partnership plans to invest ESP 100 billion in Castile la Mancha and Navarra. EHN, which has 416 MW on-line, mostly in Navarra, forecasts similar investment levels for the next two years.

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