Nor­we­gian com­pany in talks to boost Iran’s so­lar power

Iran Daily - - Do­mes­tic Econ­omy -

Iran’s firms and 80 mil­lion in­hab­i­tants are heav­ily re­liant on nat­u­ral gas and oil to gen­er­ate power. How­ever, air pol­lu­tion is help­ing drive Ira­nian in­ter­est in ex­pand­ing re­new­able en­ergy ca­pac­ity.

Iran’s in­stalled so­lar en­ergy ca­pac­ity is cur­rently 53 MW, ac­cord­ing to Ira­nian En­ergy Min­istry data, but 76 firms have signed deals to study build­ing an ex­tra 932 MW of ca­pac­ity.

For­eign en­ergy com­pa­nies are step­ping up in­vest­ment in Iran fol­low­ing the lift­ing of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions af­ter the sign­ing of a 2015 nu­clear deal.

Scatec So­lar said Ira­nian and Nor­we­gian au­thor­i­ties were try­ing to help the com­pany se­cure fi­nanc­ing for the project.

“They (Nor­way) will pro­vide us with guar­an­tees that will en­able us to raise in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic fi­nanc­ing,” said Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Mikkel Toerud. Oslo was also will­ing to help fi­nance fu­ture projects in Iran, he added.

The firm, which al­ready works in South Africa, Rwanda, Jor­dan and Brazil, is seek­ing to break into other mar­kets, in­clud­ing Myan­mar, Pak­istan and Bangladesh.

Carlsen said the com­pany was not look­ing at new projects in Europe - it has a pres­ence in the Czech Repub­lic - where the re­turns on in­vest­ment are not as good as in other mar­kets.

Scatec So­lar’s to­tal pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity is cur­rently 322 MW, with a back­log of projects equiv­a­lent to 1.8 gi­gawatts (GW).

Toerud said with some projects due for com­ple­tion next year, Scatec ex­pected its div­i­dend pay­ment in 2019 to rise.

Div­i­dend pay­ments next year are pro­jected to be sta­ble at 73 mil­lion Nor­we­gian crowns ($9.32 mil­lion). It cur­rently pays out 50 per­cent of its elec­tric­ity rev­enues as a div­i­dend.

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