Mainstream’s Chilean JV obtains US$410m in project finance for two wind farms

Mainstream Renewable Power’s Chilean Joint Venture, Aela Energía, has obtained US$410m in project financing for two wind farms in Chile with a combined capacity of 299MW, bringing the Projects to financial close. Aela Energía is 60% owned by Actis with the remaining 40% owned by Mainstream.

Aela Energía will now proceed with the construction of the 170MW Sarco and 129MW Aurora projects. Sarco is located in Freirina commune in the Atacama region while Aurora is located in Llanquihue Commune in Los Lagos region.

The two projects, which were developed by Mainstream will use wind turbines supplied by German manufacturer Senvion. Both projects will be completed in the second half of 2018 and together will provide power to the equivalent of 460,000 households.

Bart Doyle, General Manager of Mainstream Chile, said: “We are delighted to have reached financial close on these two projects, which will deliver 300MW of wind power to Chile when they are completed. These projects were awarded through a competitive tendering process in which wind energy prices came in below fossil fuel prices, clearly demonstrating that renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel generation. Last year Mainstream was exclusively awarded further supply contracts equivalent to almost 1GW of wind capacity in Chile, representing a 30% share of the auction, which further underpins our commitment to Chile and positions us as the leading independent renewable energy company focused on high-growth emerging markets.”

The project financing will be provided by a group of multilateral and commercial banks including Inter-American Development Bank and its member affiliate Inter-American Investment Corporation (IADB-IIC), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Korean Development Bank, Caixa, and KfW and Banco Santander as VAT lender. The length of financing is for 18 years.

Project financing will account for 70% of the total financing for the projects, while the equity partners will provide the other 30%.

The Sarco and Aurora wind farms are owned by Aela Energía, a joint venture between Actis (60%) and Mainstream Renewable Power (40%) and Actis.

In August 2016, Mainstream was also awarded contracts for almost 1GW which amounts to approximately 30% of the total awarded in a competitive auction designed to fulfil the long term energy demands of Chile. These contracts will be supplied from the almost 2000MW pipeline of projects that Mainstream has been developing in Chile since its arrival in the country in 2009.  The company plans to bring the projects to financial close in 2019, in order to start supplying energy in 2021 and 2022.

Cuel wind plant (33MW), Chile.  Developed, constructed and operated by Mainstream Renewable Power, owned by Aela Energia.

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