Naturgy finances Brazilian PV projects through $71.5m bond issuance

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Spanish power and gas supplier Naturgy has announced it will finance two large-scale PV projects in Brazil through a bond issuance of BRL265 million ($71.2 million).

The company said the funds will be used for the construction of the Sertão I Solar and Sobral I Solar projects – which have a combined capacity of 68 MW – in the Brazilian state of Piauí.

“With these bond issuances, Naturgy optimizes the financial structure in accordance with the commitments acquired in its strategic plan, maximizing financing in its own businesses, diversifying the sources of financing with recourse to the capital markets, and obtaining a natural exchange rate hedge,” said a company statement.

Brazil’s energy regulatory authority, ANEEL, approved the start of commercial operations for the projects in September 2017.

The facilities are in the municipality of João Costa, and received preliminary permission from ANEEL in March 2016. At the time, the regulator stated construction would begin in July 2016, with completion scheduled for July 2017. The start of commercial operations had been indicated for both projects by the beginning of August 2017.

The projects were approved by Brazilian energy agency EPE through auctions between 2014 and 2015. In the three tendering exercises, around 3 GW of large-scale solar capacity was assigned.

Naturgy is also developing several large-scale PV projects in Spain. It recently started construction on the Picón I and Picón II solar power projects in Porzuna, near Ciudad Real in Spain’s southern region of Castile-La Mancha.

In June, Gas Natural Fenosa changed its name to Naturgy Energy Group, S.A. to reflect its new strategic plan, envisaging a stronger commitment towards clean energy sources.