July 31, 2013 - Etrion announces it has entered into a PPA with Atacama Minerals, to provide electricity to its Aguas Blancas iodine mine in Chile.
Aguas Blancas Solar Park (up to 8.8MW)
Etrion has entered into a long-term take-or-pay PPA to sell electricity to the Aguas Blancas Mine. The Company plans to build, own and operate the solar park with a total capacity of up to 8.8MW to meet approximately 35% of the Aguas Blancas Mine's total projected power requirements. The solar park is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2014. The total project cost, including costs related to the licences, permits, development and construction, is estimated to be US$25 million, a portion of which is expected to be financed through non-recourse debt with international financial institutions, with the remaining equity portion to be funded by Etrion.
Construction of the Aguas Blancas Solar Park, which is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of this year, is subject to Etrion arranging the necessary debt financing as well as other conditions customary for transactions of this nature.
Marco A. Northland, the Company's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "This is a very exciting achievement for the Company as it demonstrates that solar can operate without government subsidies. Energy is a key concern in Chile and given the high solar irradiation there, it is very exciting that solar is now becoming a viable and sustainable power alternative. With a proven track record in developing, building, financing and operating solar parks, I believe the Company is well positioned to become a key player in Chile's energy sector. Having operations in Chile will smooth the effects of seasonality on our business, which will positively impact our results and cash flow position."