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Chilean solar power plant secures financing for expansion to 30 MW

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of the Government of Canada, and DEG, the German development finance institution, have completed a loan package to finance the expansion of La Huayca, the first merchantsolar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Northern Chile.

IFC will provide debt financing of up to $28.6 million, including $14.3 million from IFC’s account and $14.3 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program. DEG will provide $18.5 million. The Government of Canada’s contribution was instrumental in making the finance package viable.

“IFC is pleased to support the first project-financed merchant solar plant in Chile”, said Gabriel Goldschmidt, IFC Senior Manager for Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean.  “We hope that this transaction will help to accelerate the development of the solar photovoltaic industry in the country”.

SPS La Huayca S.A., a company owned by saferay, a German solar power developer, is expanding the existing 1.4 megawatt La Huayca plant to 30 megawatts. The plant is located near La Huayca, a town about 40 kilometers east of the port city of Iquique in the northern part of Atacama Desert – a region that benefits from one of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the world.  

 “La Huayca was one of the first solar PV plants in Chile, and is currently the largest.  The experience gained from the pilot plant will help us tremendously with our expansion plans”, said Marko Schulz, Managing Director of saferay.  “The financial support of IFC, DEG and the Government of Canada is helping us demonstrate that solar energy has great potential to diversify Chile’s energy mix to include commercially sustainable renewable energy projects”.

The strategic location of the plant, adjacent to one of the country’s principal mining energy demand centers, will decrease the load on the overburdened capacity of its transmission system and serve to stabilize its electricity grid.  The expanded plant is expected to avoid GHG emissions of 24,500 tons of CO2 per year.


“The global challenge of climate change requires a global solution and the Government of Canada is proud to support environmental efforts such as these,” said Canada’s Environment Minister, the Hon.Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Minister of the Arctic Council.



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