Abengoa sells Shams Power Company stake to Masdar

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar will own a bigger slice of the Shams Power Company as Abengoa sells off assets to avoid bankruptcy.

Masdar announced that it would acquire the Spanish renewable energy group’s 20 per cent stake in Shams 1, bringing its total shareholder status to 80 per cent with France’s Total carrying the remaining 20 per cent.

Shams Power developed the emirate’s 100 megawatt Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant.


“The day-to-day operations of Shams 1 are unaffected,” said Ahmad Belhoul, the chief executive of Masdar.

Abengoa’s shares lost 70 per cent of their value in a single day on November 25 after an investor reneged on a proposed €350 million (Dh1.43 billion) capital injection to help the company manage its debt.

Alvaro Aristegui, an analyst at Madrid-based Ahorro Corporacion Financiera, said that the company had continuously leveraged its balance sheet to achieve growth, assuming too much risk as time passed.

The troubled renewable energy company announced last month its “viability plan” in an effort to restructure debt, including the sale of “non-fundamental assets”.

“Now the company has until [the end of March] to negotiate a solution with its creditors and if an agreement is not reached, it will have to file for Chapter 11,” Mr Aristegui said.

Other regional projects that could come up on the offering table include a 184MW CSP plant in Morocco, 25MW of solar power at Algeria’s first solar-gas hybrid plant and a memorandum of understanding with Egypt for a 20MW solar plant.

“I think the deal to sell the 20 per cent stake in Shams is just a small piece of the puzzle,” Mr Aristegui said.

lgraves@thenational.ae

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