Megalim Solar Power Ltd., a joint venture between BrightSource Energy (25.05%), Alstom (25.05%) and the Noy Fund (49.9%), has closed financing for the purpose of constructing the first thermo-solar field in Israel, at Ashelim.
The Finance Ministry announced in late June that the consortium will design, construct and operate the NIS 2.9 billion (about US$850 million) 121-megawatt solar-thermal facility at Ashalim, .
The financing package amounts to NIS 2.35 billion; the rest of the financing will be in the form of equity investment by the shareholders.
The financial bodies participating are Bank Hapoalim, the European Investment Bank and eight other financial institutions: Israel Discount Bank, First International Bank of Israel, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, Union Bank of Israel, Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services Ltd., Menorah Mivtachim Holdings Ltd., Psagot Investment House Ltd., and The Phoenix Holdings Ltd.
The project is on a BOT (build, operate, transfer) basis under a franchise agreement with the state of Israel. The thermo-solar power plant will use sun tower technology.
The franchise period is three years for construction and 25 years operation, during which period Israel Electric Corporation will undertake to buy all of the plant’s output.
Orna Hozman-Bechor, director- general of the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry, said:
“The financial close of the solar-thermal plan in Ashalim represents another significant step in an important and big project in the field of renewable energy, which will significantly increase the production of electricity from renewable energy sources."