Wind Wire: Finance in place

Turkish developer Zorlu Enerji has secured loans totalling EUR130 million to help finance its 135 MW Bahce wind project, currently under construction in south-central Turkey.

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The EUR200 million project is Turkey's largest wind farm to date. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are providing EUR45 million, EUR55 million and EUR30 million, respectively. Zorlu has raised the remaining EUR70 million for the project through a combination of an equity injection by shareholders and subordinated loans. The EIB loan is guaranteed by international bank HSBC and locally based DenizBank - it is the first loan they have extended in Turkey since it started operations there in September 2008. The bank says it decided to support Bahce as a demonstration project because, among other things, it is the first large-scale wind project developed on a project finance basis and has the potential to show the financial viability of large-scale wind installations, which could attract new investors to the sector. The first seven of the 54 GE 2.5 MW turbines planned for Bahce started operating in August. The rest are due online by the end of the year. Zorlu also has permission to build another 110 MW nearby, comprising 50 MW at Saritepe and 60 MW at Demirciler, north of Ankara. It hopes to start construction next autumn.

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