ACWA closes financing for Dubai solar project

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai has been the focus of significant international interest, having demonstrated one of the lowest levelized costs of electricity in the world.
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Updated 07 September 2020

ACWA closes financing for Dubai solar project

ACWA Power, a Saudi Arabian developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants, completed the signing of all financing agreements of the 900MW solar PV project, Shuaa Energy 3 PSC, which is the fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. Shuaa Energy 3 PSC is the special purpose vehicle incorporated for the project, with 60 percent ownership of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the balance split between ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation.

The project involves the construction of a state-of-the-art 900MW solar PV plant, using bi-facial panels with tracking technology at a capital cost of $564 million. The solar park has been the focus of significant international interest, having demonstrated one of the lowest levelized costs of electricity in the world at $1.6953 per kWh.

The financing for the project is based on the principles of limited recourse project financing with the senior debt provided by a number of international, regional and local banks along with a project recourse mezzanine tranche committed by a regional bank, structured as a 27-year soft mini perm financing with both conventional and Islamic tranches. In addition, the financing structure featured a set of equity bridge loans provided by local banks and also by DEWA.

The financing group for the project included Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Emirates NBD Bank, Natixis, SAMBA Financial Group, Standard Chartered Bank and Warba Bank. Additionally, a project recourse mezzanine tranche was provided by Commercial Bank International and equity bridge facilities provided by Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD Bank and Mashreqbank.

Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of ACWA Power, said: “Securing this amount of long-tenor project financing for Shuaa Energy 3 PSC even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause social and economic disruption to the entire world, illustrates the combined capabilities and trusted partnership between ACWA Power and DEWA. We are delighted to have achieved this significant milestone, which reflects confidence of the financial community in this partnership, and the role and iconic status of the fifth phase of Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park in delivering Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050.”

Rajit Nanda, chief investment officer of ACWA Power, added: “Project financing of this magnitude having been successfully raised from nine project finance lenders in the midst of a global pandemic, is the ultimate testament to DEWA’s credibility as a counterparty and the success of their IPP program, as well as ACWA Power’s focus and proven ability to deliver power and desalinated water reliably and responsibly at low cost.”

The EPC agreement for the construction of the project was signed with Shanghai Electric in July 2020.


Discover flavors of Asia at LuLu’s ‘Amazing ASEAN’ fest

Updated 19 October 2020

Discover flavors of Asia at LuLu’s ‘Amazing ASEAN’ fest

Regional retailer LuLu unveiled its week-long food festival “Amazing ASEAN: Discover the Flavors of Asia,” bringing the diverse product offerings of Asian countries in one place. Visitors can expect to see a wide selection of fresh produce and ethnic delicacies on offer, specially flown in from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The festival was virtually inaugurated in the presence of chief guests Dato’ Abd Razak bin Abdul Wahab, ambassador of Malaysia to Saudi Arabia; Sathana Kashemsanta Na Ayudhya, chargé d’affaires of Thailand (head of mission), Royal Thai Embassy, Riyadh; and Arief Hidayat, deputy chief of mission, Embassy of Indonesia; together with Shehim Mohammed, director of LuLu Hypermarkets Saudi Arabia, and other LuLu officials.

Mohammed said: “We are truly honored to launch this festival that signifies our commitment to bringing the best quality products from different countries, which truly makes our brand where the world comes to shop. Our Southeast Asian sourcing offices and food manufacturing facilities have a big contribution to our success in ensuring uninterrupted supply at the most affordable prices throughout the year. This event will provide our loyal customers with delicious food products straight from Asia.”

Well-known for promoting country festivals inspired by cuisines from around the world, LuLu has flown in a range of products that comprise imported fruits and vegetables, cupboard essentials, famous spiced sauces, packaged desserts, and healthy and organic foodstuffs. The festival runs from Oct. 14 to 20.

Having operations in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, LuLu continues to procure a wide range of food and nonfood essentials that undergo consolidation, repackaging, and relabeling of products for the Middle Eastern market.

LuLu has continuously been exerting efforts to provide and sustain the supply of global products at the best rates. With a combination of high quality offerings and  an organized logistics system, LuLu is one of the favorite shopping destinations in Saudi Arabia when it comes to a broader selection of international products.

Garnering more than 1,600,000 shopping patrons every day, LuLu is the fastest-growing retail chain across 10 countries that include the GCC, India, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia. Founded in the early 1990s, it has successfully expanded to different parts of the world and currently operates 193 stores with a workforce of more than 55,000.