Allens advises on solar-gas project to power Pilbara mines

Allens has advised Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) on the provision of a loan of up to $90 million to Alinta Energy Pty Ltd (Alinta Energy), to fund the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project (the Project).

NAIF’s loan will help fund the construction of electrical infrastructure at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd’s (Fortescue) Chichester Hub iron ore mines, including a 60 megawatt solar panel plant and a 60 kilometre transmission line.

Once completed, the Project will enable daytime operations at the mines to be among the first globally to deploy renewable energy to meet up to 100% of its daytime power requirement.

‘We were thrilled to advise NAIF on a project that will set a benchmark for clean power and renewable energy in the resources sector. Once completed, Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mines will have the capability to rely solely on solar power during the day,’ said lead Partner Scott McCoy.

‘The transaction involved unique challenges, given the involvement of Commonwealth funds together with the Western Australian government as the lender of record. We were able to navigate these complexities to devise an innovative financing structure,’ he said.

The transaction builds upon Allens’ work for NAIF, including acting on the first NAIF financing in 2018.

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