Solar panels 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sources inform Globes
that Israel Electric Corporation will build a $1.3 billion project of three
photovoltaic solar energy arrays in northern China. IEC’s board of directors
approved the project, the utility’s first investment in China, at its last
As the project’s chief contractor, IEC will not invest equity in
The project is also IEC’s first investment in a solar energy
project, and it is the utility’s largest foreign project to date. The Government
Companies Authority still has to approve IEC’s participation in the project. The
Finance Ministry has blocked IEC’s entry into new fields until negotiations on
reforming the company are completed.
The 240-megawatt PV solar arrays
will be built on private land owned by a Chinese businessman and his Israeli
partner, who approached IEC about the project three months ago. IEC will own 50%
of the engineering, procurement and construction company that will build the
project, the Chinese partner will own 25%, as required by Chinese law, and a
large foreign contractor of solar arrays will own the remaining 25%. A Chinese
manufacturer will supply the PV panels.
IEC has no experience in building
solar energy projects, and is banned from the business in Israel.
Chinese project will enable IEC to acquire experience in the field. It will
provide a small team who will coordinate between the project’s
The project will comprise three 50-MW PV fields and
rooftop PV systems installed on the farm’s greenhouses to generate an additional
90 MW. The three PV solar farms will cost $750 million to build, and the rooftop
arrays will cost $540 million.
On Thursday, IEC’s board also decided to
establish a subsidiary, IEC International Ltd., to handle the utilities foreign
IEC International will be registered in Cyprus, in order to
operate in countries without diplomatic relations with Israel, and because of
Cyprus’s low tax regime.
IEC’s foreign projects to date include the
design of a coal-fired power station in South Africa in a joint project with
France’s Alstom SA, a wind energy project in Bulgaria, and the construction of
power stations in Cyprus and Greece. IEC is also in talks on designing power
stations in India and Nigeria.