AES subsidiary closes financing on Bulgarian wind farm

SOFIA, BULGARIA - AES Corporation has announced that AES Geo Energy, a majority owned subsidiary, signed an agreement to build the largest wind farm in Bulgaria.

AES Geo Energy will construct and operate the 156 MW St. Nikolas wind farm in Kavarna. A signing ceremony in Sofia to close the deal was attended by Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev and Paul Hanrahan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AES.

"The St. Nikolas at Kavarna project will be the largest wind farm in Bulgaria, and demonstrates our commitment to provide sustainable and affordable power," said Mr. Hanrahan.

"The St. Nikolas at Kavarna project will significantly increase Bulgaria's wind generation capacity, and marks AES Wind's fifth operational wind farm in Europe," said Marty Crotty, President, AES Wind Generation.

The wind farm will consist of 52 Vestas turbines and will be owned and operated by AES GEO Energy, which has signed a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the National Electricity Company.

The total project cost is €270m ($365m), of which €198m was financed through non-recourse financing.

The non-recourse financing has been secured in a consortium of lenders, led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and UniCredit Markets & Investment Banking for a 15-year term.

AES had funded €68m for the equity as of September 2008 and covered the balance of the €4m project funding at the financial close.

AES has more than 1000 MW of wind capacity in operation globally. In Bulgaria, AES is currently building the Maritza East I Power Project, the largest greenfield power sector investment to date in southeastern Europe.


in Year