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Norway’s Saga Signs $2.9b Iran Solar Power Venture

Norway’s Saga Energy signed a €2.5 billion ($2.94 billion) deal in Tehran on Tuesday to build solar power plants in Iran, the company said, just days after US President Donald Trump unveiled a more confrontational policy toward Tehran.

Saga’s preliminary agreement with Iran’s state-owned Amin Energy Developers was the latest in a flurry of deals by foreign companies since the easing of international sanctions on the country in 2016 after it agreed to limits on its disputed nuclear program, Reuters reported.

“The deal, which still depends on finalizing economic guarantees from Tehran, would see the construction over a four- to five-year period of 2 gigawatts of power generation capacity,” Saga Energy Spokesman Rune Haaland said.

“Norway is fully committed to the JCPOA [Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers] and this is proof that we have taken the opening very seriously, and we will see more investment very soon,” said Norwegian Ambassador Lars Nordrum who hosted the signing at his residence in Tehran.

According to IRNA, the new solar capacity will be installed in three development phases in six regions, including the torrid central and eastern provinces of Khorasan Razavi, Kerman and Yazd.

Initially, around 180 megawatts of the capacity are planned for launch by March 2018, the end of the present fiscal year.

“The company will rely on banks, pension funds and Norwegian state export guarantees to fund the plan, and aims to recoup its investment through a 25-year deal on electricity prices,” he added.

While Saga and Lithuania’s SoliTek will produce the solar panels, much of the remaining equipment will come from Taiwan’s Delta Electronics Inc.

“They will provide all the installations of electronics such as inverters, for example,” Haaland said of Delta.

“Eventually, the plan is to build a plant in Iran to churn out solar panels.”

On Friday, Trump announced that he would decertify the 2015 nuclear agreement reached under his predecessor, Barack Obama, leaving its fate to the US Congress which might try to modify it or bring back sanctions previously imposed on Iran.

“We are a little bit worried about what Trump is doing; we are very much in favor of the atomic deal, but we will of course continue with our plans whatever Trump does, no doubt about that, nothing can change that,” Saga’s Haaland said.

“We hope to build a factory in Iran to build the panels so that we are also generating jobs,” said Saga’s development manager, Gaute Steinkopf, at the signing.

“I’d like to thank Norway, which has always been one of the best friends to Iran, for this exciting opportunity,” said Saeed Zakeri, Amin’s head of international affairs.

 

News No: 1449
Date: 2017/10/19 - 13:07
News Source: Financial Tribune

Saga Energy  Norway  Amin Energy Developers  Gaute Steinkopf 

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