Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised a consortium of EDF Renouvelables S.A. (EDF-R) and Jinko Power (HK) Company Limited (Jinko Power) on the project financing and development of the Abu Dhabi-based 2GW Al-Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Producer project. Once constructed it will be the largest solar project in the world to date to be project financed.
EDF-R and Jinko Power are implementing the project through Dhafrah PV2 Energy Company LLC, the project company which will manage the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the solar plant, including installation of solar PV modules, inverters, connection to the transmission network and associated facilities. The project is expected to begin commercial operation in 2022. The shareholders in the project company will, indirectly, be EDF-R, Jinko Power, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC (Masdar) and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA).
A London, Dubai and Singapore-based Norton Rose Fulbright team led by EMEA head of energy Charles Whitney advised EDF-R and Jinko Power on the project financing, power purchase and construction arrangements, corporate and hedging arrangements for the project. The team also included partners Adjou Ait Ben Idir, Peter Hall, Chris Down, Paul Mansouri and Colin Rice, counsel Kate Kortenbout, senior associates Zaid Al-Rizzo and Santiago Ross, and associates Hesa Alsaad, Vany Attarian and Francesca Norton.
Charles Whitney commented:
“We are delighted to have been involved in another Abu Dhabi IPP to achieve financial close. This really is a landmark project for the renewable energy industry and Abu Dhabi, given its size and complexity. It demonstrates yet again the leadership role played by Emirates Water and Electricity Company, with its partners EDF-R and Jinko Power, in the energy transition in the Middle East.
“The addition of this project to our roster means that Norton Rose Fulbright is now working simultaneously on the largest solar project and largest offshore wind projects globally.”
Norton Rose Fulbright recently advised on the financial close of the first two phases of Dogger Bank offshore wind farm. When complete in 2026, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
Banks involved in the Al-Dhafra project financing include Bank of China Limited (acting through Bank of China Limited, Shanghai Branch), BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, MUFG Bank, Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV acted as documentation bank and MUFG Bank, Ltd acts as global facility agent.