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Mon 9 Jul 2012 05:17 PM

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Saudi's ACWA takes stake in Bulgaria solar plant

Power firm inks agreement for 42% stake in green energy project in Karadzhalovo

Saudi's ACWA takes stake in Bulgaria solar plant
The Karadzhalovo solar power plant in Bulgaria.

ACWA Power International, the Saudi-based water and power developer, owner and operator, on Monday said it has signed an agreement to acquire a 42 percent stake in a solar plant in Bulgaria.

It said it has partnered with an affiliate of First Reserve Energy Infrastructure Fund and Clean Energy Transition Fund, a fund managed by Crescent Capital, to acquire the solar power plant located in Karadzhalovo.

The plant, which was constructed by US-based SunEdison, is expected to produce 81,000 MWh per annum.

The plant has been operating since March and is already supplying electricity to the Bulgarian power grid, a statement said.

The project is funded with equity and debt capital by International Finance Corporation, the private sector affiliate of the World Bank; Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the US and UniCredit of Italy.

As part of the deal, the plant will be operated by a new company formed in Bulgaria by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power, and SunEdison in which both companies will have equal shares of ownership.

Over 50 percent of the installed power generation capacity of Bulgaria uses coal as the primary fuel which in turn emits approximately 0.6 tons of CO2 per MWh of electricity produced.

Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power, said: "We are proud to enter not only our sixth international market but also our first investment in renewable energy."

ACWA Power owns majority stakes in fully operational assets in Oman and Jordan and projects under advanced development in Morocco, Turkey and South Africa in addition to its home market of Saudi Arabia.

"This Bulgaria PV IPP is yet another milestone in the company's history and helps to diversify the company's technology portfolio and fuel mix," he added.

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