German solar thermal company Solar Millennium has completed the sale of its two 25% stakes in the Andasol 1 and Andasol 2 thermal solar plants in southern Spain to operator ACS/Cobra Group.
The company said that the move was a “consistent realisation” of its business model and that the sale had been postponed from last year. The sales, which have provided Solar Millennium with an additional earnings effect of €12 m in the current fiscal year, provide a “further improvement of the liquidity situation (that) expands leeway for future business development and the realisation of upcoming solar power plant projects,” the company said
Spanish construction and energy group ACS/Cobra had already acquired the rest of the shares in the two 50 MW projects, which were developed by Solar Millennium using parabolic trough technology.
Solar Millennium CEO Christian Beltle said "The ACS/Cobra Group, who realised both the power plants together with Solar Millennium, made the most attractive offer for the stakes for sale. Thus, we have been able to once again realise an important component of our business model by selling stakes in power plant companies."
CFO Thomas Mayer said "With the successful transaction that has furthermore improved our liquidity situation once again we are well equipped for the realisation of upcoming power plant projects. Spain remains an important market for us and we will therefore continue to invest there. However, our project pipeline is also filled to the brim in the US, our next major market.”
Mayer also pointed out that the company is contributing know-how to the Desertec Industrial Initiative. “For us Desertec is an important pillar for the safe and economic energy supply in Europe and North Africa, " he said. Solar Millennium is developing a series of projects around the world with an overall capacity of more than 2,000 megawatts, with a focus on Spain, the US, China and North Africa.
The Andasol 1 and 2 projects were Europe’s first ever parabolic trough power plants. Solar Millennium recently made a deal to sell a majority stake in the identical Andasol 3 plant to a German consortium led by German utilities Stadwerke München and RWE Innogy.
As well as parabolic trough technology, Solar Millennium is also working on its so-called Blue Tower bio gas technology and on solar chimney power plants.