Itochu and Abengoa Solar partner to own two 50 MW concentrated solar energy plants in Spain

Abengoa Solar and ITOCHU Corporation have formed a partnership to own two 50 megawatt Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants in Logrosán (Cáceres), Extremadura, Spain. Abengoa Solar, who will also operate both facilities, will retain control of the project with a 70% stake while ITOCHU will take a 30% stake.

The two 50 megawatt CSP plants represent a total investment of more than 500 million euros, of which a total of around 340 million euros has been raised through a project finance loan. On December 16th, Abengoa Solar and ITOCHU have concluded the finance agreements with four international commercial banks: SMBC, HSBC, Mizuho and BTMU with the Overseas United Loan Insurance program support of NEXI, a Japanese export credit agency.

The two 50 megawatt CSP plants, which are already under construction by the Abengoa companies Abener and Teyma, are expected to start their commercial operation in 2012 and will sell power to the grid based on the Spanish feed-in tariff system. The plants will benefit greatly from abundant solar radiation in Extremadura. Utilizing parabolic trough technology, they will produce enough energy to meet the electricity needs of 52,000 households and achieve emissions reductions totaling approximately 63,000 tons of CO2 per year.

In addition to the two projects in Extremadura, Abengoa Solar and ITOCHU have signed an agreement to collaborate in the analysis and development, on a non-exclusive basis, of further projects, mainly in Asian and European markets.

Santiago Seage, Abengoa Solar’s CEO, said “this partnership with a leading Japanese trading firm and the participation of international banks confirms the growth potential of CSP fuelled by the international investment community. For Abengoa Solar, it constitutes another step forward in the execution of our pipeline of projects that have secured their registration in the feed-in-tariff pre-assignment registry set up last year in Spain”.

In turn, Toshihito Tamba, ITOCHU’s Executive Vice President, mentioned that “ITOCHU has shown aggressive moves on the environment & new energy field. We have built a competitively superior value chain in the solar energy field by organically linking all areas such as upstream raw materials, midstream intermediary products and downstream system integration and solar power generating plants. This partnership with Abengoa Solar enables us to reinforce the value chain by participating in the concentrating solar power business on a global basis. ITOCHU will continue to contribute to the world environment.”

Parabolic trough technology operation is based on solar tracking and concentration of sunrays onto receiving pipes with a high degree of thermal efficiency that are placed along the cylinder focal line. Inside these pipes a heat-transmitting fluid is heated to approximately 400ºC (750ºF) by means of the concentrated sunrays.

This fluid is pumped through a series of heat exchangers to produce superheated steam. The heat present in this steam is turned into electrical energy inside a conventional steam turbine. Further information is available at:

Abengoa Solar focuses its activity on the development and application of technology for generating electrical power with the sun. Abengoa Solar has 550 megawatts in solar projects under construction, in addition to 193 megawatts in commercial operation.

Abengoa (MCE: ABG) is an international company that applies innovative technology solutions to sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, generating energy from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating sea water and recycling industrial waste.

With approximately 150 bases in 74 countries, ITOCHU, a Japanese leading trading company, is engaging in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textile, machinery, information and communications technology, aerospace, electronics, energy, metals, minerals, chemicals, forest products, general merchandise, food, finance, realty, insurance, and logistics services, as well as business investment in Japan and overseas.

In solar energy field, ITOCHU has built a competitively superior value chain in Japan, Europe and the United States by organically linking all areas of the industry from such raw materials as polysilicon through to intermediary products, including ingots, wafers and cells, and finished products such as solar cell modules and generation systems as well as businesses of such solar power generation plants as CSP and solar parks. ITOCHU will accelerate initiatives to integrate its business activity across entire solar power value chain and deploy solar energy on a global basis for a realization of the environment-friendly society.