Qatar Solar Technologies get unprecedented $1 billion in single-source financing

solar panels in QatarA new solar company in Qatar received unprecedented financing early this month to establish a manufacturing plant in the energy hub of Ras Laffan Industrial City. Qatar Solar Technologies was established in 2010 and has been working toward the goal of building a manufacturing facility and developing solar hub in Qatar and in the Middle East since then.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, a British law firm, negotiated the deal and secured $1 billion in single source financing from Qatari bank Masraf Al Rayan, Royal Bank of Scotland. The deal was viable because it fits in with Qatar’s goal to promote an industrialized and knowledge-based society, said John Dewar, one of the attorney’s who negotiated the deal.

“We expect to see a growing use of solar technology in the Gulf countries,” Dewar writes in an email. “A solar power project has been financed in Abu Dhabi and KA-CARE has an ambitious solar power program in Saudi Arabia which is planned to be launched next year.”

While the Middle East is an oil-rich region known for exporting the world’s primary energy supply, Dewar said he expects to see a lot of solar activity and a growing trend toward renewable energy for domestic use in those countries. “Use of solar technologies will help prepare the Middle East for the post-hydrocarbon era and in the mean time will help maximize revenues from hydrocarbons by accessing solar power instead of burning oil for power generation,” Dewar writes.

Qatar Solar Technologies, which is jointly owned by the Qatar Foundation, Solarworld AG and Qatar Development Bank, plans to develop solar-grade silicon in its new plant and has multiple options it could pursue for commercial success. “QSTec is looking to export to other parts of the world, but also to local companies engaged in the manufacture of solar panels,” Dewar writes. He said there will likely be more opportunity for local solar manufacturers to establish businesses in Qatar because of Qatar Solar Technologies’ presence.

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