Ence signs finance, EPC contracts for new biomass plant in Spain

By Erin Voegele | August 16, 2012

Madrid, Spain-based Ence recently signed the project finance and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for its Mérida biomass power plant project. The 20 MW plant is scheduled to begin operations in the third quarter 2014.

Ence is investing €80.9 million ($99.4 million) in the project, with the financing amounting to €60.7 million. According Ence, Banesto is serving as the agent bank, and La Caixa and BBVA are also participating. “This is the second operation of this type performed in Spain for the financing of a biomass plant, after the operation performed last year, also by Ence for its Huelva plant, which will start operation this year,” said the company in a statement.

The EPC contract was awarded to Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A., which is also based in Spain. Ence said in a statement that selecting Sener guarantees project execution with regard to cost, quality and timeframe.

According to Ence, 75 percent of the project is being financed through debt. The remaining 25 percent is being financed through shareholder equity. The financing period for the plant is 15 years, including 2 years for the construction period and a 13-year amortization period over the plant’s commercial operations, said Ence.

“The financing obtained for the Mérida plant constitutes a significant milestone in the development of Ence’s growth strategy in the energy sector, which envisages the operation of another additional 210 MW in biomass plants until 2015, more than double the current power installed,” said the company in a release. The company’s 50 MW biomass plant in Huelva is expected to begin operations in September.