Akfen Renewable Energies, the renewables arm of Turkey’s Akfen Holding, signed an agreement for a new $363 million loan with the following six banks: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Germany’s KfW IPEX-Bank, as well as Turkey’s Garanti Bank, Turkey İs Bank, Vakifbank and Yapı Kredi Bank.
The funds will help Akfen Renewable Energies to build 9 new solar PV plants totaling 85 MW of capacity in the areas of Konya, Tokat, Amasya, Van and Malatya. Moreover, the loan will also support the construction of four new wind farms in the areas of Canakkale and Denizli, with a cumulative capacity of 242 MW.
Akfen argues that this is the biggest loan ever granted for the development of renewable plants in Turkey. The company will also invest an additional $167 million in equity capital, bringing the final investment for its new renewable energy plants up to $530 million. All 13 new plants are scheduled to be connected to the grid by 2020.
Solar PV plants
The EBRD’s involvement in the new $363 million loan was confirmed earlier in September, when the bank announced a €102 million loan to Akfen towards the development of new solar and wind farms.
Additional details about the investment were revealed yesterday at the signing ceremony in Turkey. With regards to solar, this is positive news because it can help Akfen to develop its licensed portfolio of PV projects.
To date, Turkey’s solar PV powerhouse has been the so-called unlicensed segment of the market that concerns projects up to 1 MW. Of the 600 MW licensed projects awarded in 2014 and 2015, that concern plants larger that 1 MW, only a few have been built so far. Financing is often cited as one of the reasons for the dormant licensed market.
Given the current troubles of Turkey's currency, the new $363 million loan is expected to add a much needed boost to the country's licensed segment, and to renewable energies more broadly.