16 January 2012

German funds plan $2-bln Oman solar project

Private investment funds Terra Nex of Switzerland and Germany's Middle East Best Select (MEBS) plan to build 400 megawatts (MW) of solar power generating capacity in Oman, the European investors said on Sunday

Reuters | Jan 15, 2012

Terra Nex, a wealth management company specializing in Middle East investment, and MEBS plan a 2-billion dollar integrated project to develop solar technology in the oil and gas exporting country, including facilities to manufacture solar panels for Oman and for export.

"Oman's stable business environment and pro-environmental policies makes the Sultanate a natural partner to this project," David Heimhofer, chairman of Terra Nex, said in a statement.

"The government's aim to produce 10 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy resources by 2020 is laudable and this project will go a long way in making that vision a reality."

The project would be financed largely by investors from Germany, with MEBS mainly funded by a group of German institutional and individual investors.

Heimhofer said about 600 million dollars of the overall investment would come from direct equity capital, with the remainder covered by loans from European financial institutions.

Despite plentiful sunshine the Middle East region's solar power production is tiny compared with that of Europe, China or the United States.

Driven by huge subsidies, Germany has become one of the world's largest solar markets but the country has been cutting financial support in an effort to get the industry to reduce its costs.

(Reporting by Daniel Fineren; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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