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Norway’s government’s export credit agency, Export Finance Norway (Eksfin), has provided NOK 1.2 billion (USD 102 million) to Scatec ASA as financial risk reduction for its combined solar energy and battery storage project in South Africa.
Renewable-energy solutions provider, Scatec, is set to build three solar power plants in Kenhardt, Northern Cape with a total of 540 MW of installed solar power and 225 MW/1,140 MWh of battery capacity. The combination of energy storage with solar plants will enable the maintenance of a stable supply of electricity even when the sun is not shining.
The project is Scatec’s largest investment in Africa and one of the biggest solar energy projects in the world. The expected implementation cost of the solar project is nearly 16.4 billion South African Rand (~$962 million).
Tone Lunde Bakker, Eksfin’s Managing Director, said, supporting solar energy projects is vital at a time when the world highly needs more clean energy. Eksfin has collaborated with renewable-energy companies including Scatec for developing clean energy infrastructures.
Eksfin is backing financial services group Nordea guarantees ensuring Scatec builds the plants as contracted and that owners’ equity is duly received. Loans are also being provided by South Africa’s Standard Bank Group and British International Investment (BII), totaling ZAR 12.4 billion ($727 million).
Mona Tørudstad, Head of Energy Norway at Nordea, commented, “At Nordea, we greatly appreciate our long and close cooperation with Scatec as the company’s main bank. Together with Eksfin, we have devised good solutions that have supported the company’s growth and its important contribution to renewable-energy development and the green shift.”
Financial risk reduction in the form of guarantees is instrumental for advancing international solar energy projects. Eksfin has already contributed nearly NOK 7 billion in guarantees for Scatec’s projects around the world, reducing risk throughout the company’s international expansion.
Scatec has already delivered six large-scale power plants in South Africa with a capacity totaling 448 MW. The current solar cum battery project involves a total capital expenditure of close to $1 billion and will significantly increase renewable energy access in South Africa.