The “Vientos Los Hercules” project, which Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was signed with the Argentinian administrator of the wholesale electricity market CAMMESA at the end of January 2017, was among the 12 winning projects announced in October 2016 following the first round of the national RenovAR program. This competitive tender process had been launched by the Argentinean government in May 2016 in order to diversify the national electricity mix while lowering energy generation costs.
The project will be financed through a combination of a 16-year limited recourse loan as an export credit facility arranged by KfW IPEX-Bank, guaranteed by Euler Hermes through a comprehensive political and commercial export credit insurance, and a 15-year parallel credit facility provided by the German development finance institution (DEG), and the Dutch development bank (FMO).
Fabienne Demol, Executive Vice President – Global Head of Business Development of Total Eren, commented:
“The financial closure of this energy project representing such an investment in Argentina is an achievement that we can be proud of. Thanks to the creativity and confidence of our financing partners and the tremendous work of our team, we were able to implement a
sustainable project finance structure with no recourse to the project sponsors, which is the first of its kind since a long time in Argentina. The successful financing of ‘Vientos Los Hercules’ is an important milestone for us as this is our first large-scale wind power plant in both Argentina and in Latin America, a region whose significant potential we have been convinced of for several years now.”
Thomas Brehler, Global Head of Power, Renewables and Water at KfW IPEX-Bank commented:
“Argentina has turned into one of the global growth markets for Europe's wind turbine manufacturers. Supporting European exports and European investors in clean energy projects is at the heart of our strategy. We are very proud of the trust that Total Eren has put into our wind industry and ECA expertise in this first of a kind transaction.”
Thomas Gau, Vice President at DEG, stated: “The financing of this renewable energy project, based on German equipment and one of the first in Argentina after a long period, represents a perfect fit into DEG's strategy. We are proud of realizing it together with Total Eren, as a competent project developer, and our financing partners KfW IPEX Bank and FMO. We are thereby contributing to ensuring that Argentina exploits its huge wind power potential."
Robert Voskuilen, Senior Investment Officer at FMO, stated: “FMO is pleased to be part of Total Eren’s lender group for this milestone project in Argentina. We complement Total Eren on a successful collaboration. The project fits well with FMO’s renewable energy strategy in Latin America and FMO continues to contribute to the further success of the RenovAr program.”
The EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) contract was signed with Senvion in October 2017 and the Notice to Proceed was issued in mid-November 2017. The commissioning of the 97,2 MW wind project, which aims to generate around 400 GWh per year, is planned for the first quarter of 2019. Located in the Santa Cruz province in Argentina, the “Vientos Los Hercules” project will add to Total Eren’s 30 MW solar photovoltaic power project under construction and its 50 MW wind power project at an advanced development stage in Argentina.