Temple Bright powers ahead with Jordanian solar success

Innovative law firm Temple Bright has advised Jordan-based Shamsuna Power Company (Shamsuna) on the closing of its round one solar project in Jordan.

The project comprises a 10MW solar PV power plant located in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, including construction of a 6km 33kV transmission line connecting to a NEPCO substation in Aqaba.

All output generated by the project will be sold to Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) under a 20 year PPA, signed in March this year.

The project will cut the cost of generating electricity in Jordan and contribute to the country’s target of 10% renewable energy generation by 2020.

The project was developed by Dr Tara Lindstedt and Samer Judeh, both experienced players in clean energy, who were involved in Jordan’s first utility-scale renewables project to reach financial close, the 117MW Tafila wind power project. Foursan Capital Partners came in as co-developer in early 2014, and the project has now successfully closed it EPC contract with Trina Solar and its financing with the IFC.

Foursan Capital Partners and Samer Judeh are the sponsors and shareholders of Shamsuna. The project is being financed by IFC and a small syndicate of lenders.

The new plant will be delivered by Trina Solar Middle East, the Middle East branch of the NYSE-listed Chinese manufacturer, under an integrated design, build, operate and maintain contract. Trina Solar became the largest solar PV company in the world earlier in the year.

The project marks Foursan’s first renewables investment, IFC’s first solar financing in the Middle East, and Trina’s first utility scale contract in the Middle East. Shamsuna is now on track to become the first operational renewable project in Jordan.

The Temple Bright team comprised Tom Bainbridge, Louisa Cilenti and Sandy Abrahams, who joined the firm earlier this year from Nabarro to set up its energy and climate change practice.

The team also advised on the Tafila project, which won IFJ’s Project Finance Renewables Deal of the Year 2013 for the Middle East.

Jordanian law advice was provided by Rami Hadidi and Shadi Mikdadi of Hadidi & Co Law in Amman. Shamsuna’s technical advisors were Cube Engineering of Germany.

Samer Judeh of Shamsuna said: “We are pleased to have achieved this important milestone. Shamsuna will make a contribution to our country’s strategic plan for energy self-sufficiency and also to the Strategic Plan of Aqaba’s Special Economic Zone. We thank the IFC for their 24/7 support and efforts to get us past the line and we will work together to achieve commercial operations in mid-2015.”

Nashat Masri of Foursan said: “We are delighted to have been part of this groundbreaking project and team effort. We hope this is the first of a number of renewables investments for Foursan.”

Temple Bright co-founder Tim Summers said: “We’re delighted to be involved in such an innovative and important clean energy project. It’s much to the credit of Shamsuna and our energy and climate change team to have concluded this phase of the deal so efficiently and our team are looking forward to continuing in the same vein at the next stage.”

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 3 October 2014.