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Manah 1 solar project reaches financial close

13 Jan 2024 solar projects By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – The consortium, led by France’s EDF Renewables and Korea Western Power Corporation (KOWEPO), announced that it has reached financial close on the Manah 1 Solar PV  Project – a 500MW solar power plant located in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.

Following the bid submission in September 2022, the consortium was awarded and signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nama Power and Water Procurement Company (PWP) on March 23, 2023. Under the terms of the PPA, the consortium shall design, finance, build, and operate the plant.

The Manah 1 solar plant will begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2025. The project is the first for EDF Renewables and KOWEPO in the sultanate and is part of the consortium’s strategy to support the region’s net-zero ambitions, as well as contribute to Oman nation’s clean energy goals, through the diversification of the country’s energy mix aiming at 35-39% of renewable generation by 2040.

‘The financing of the project was made possible thanks to the support of global financial institutions and the strategic partnership formed by French and Korean energy leaders to leverage their combined expertise,’ EDF Renewables said in a press statement.

During an official signing ceremony at COP28, the stakeholders signed the financing agreements, a critical step leading to the financial close, which was achieved on December 25, 2023, the company said.

‘The financing of the project will be secured through equity and loan schemes from local and international financial institutions, such as the Export-Import Bank of Korea, European bank Société Générale, and Oman’s Bank Muscat,’ EDF Renewables said.

Olivier Bordes, CEO Middle East, EDF Renewables, said, “We would like to thank Omani authorities, and in particular APSR, Nama Holding, and PWP, for their trust in our consortium to execute the Manah 1 Solar PV Project. Today we are reaching the financial close for this project, which highlights our strong commitment to contribute to Oman’s goal to produce from 35% to 39% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040 and demonstrates EDF Renewables and KOWEPO’s consortium’s continuing support for the sultanate in reaching its clean goals. This first for the consortium large-scale renewable installation in the country is perfectly in line with the EDF Group’s commitment to triple the renewable energy net capacity in operation worldwide, between 2023 and 2030.”

Youn Ho Ko, CEO MENA, Korea Western Power, added, “We are very pleased to announce the successful financial close of the Manah 1 Solar PV Project, and that we are the first Korean company to be awarded a project in Oman. This achievement was possible due to the strong partnership with EDF Renewables and their extensive experience and the unwavering support of Société Générale, KEXIM Bank, and Bank Muscat.”

Once commissioned, the project will power over 50,000 Omani households with clean electricity, while offsetting over 700,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year.

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