The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will fund a 57MW solar power project in central Thailand by providing a financing package worth US$85 million.

As part of the financing deal, ADB has confirmed that a THB1.65 billion (US$52 million) loan has been approved for Solarco, a solar developer owned by Yanhee EGCO Holding.

ADB will provide an additional US$33 million loan to Solarco which will be financed by the ADB Clean Technology Fund, which is part of the Climate Investment Fund implemented by various development banks to support the rapid deployment of low-carbon technologies in the region.

The project, which involves the construction of three PV plants, represents ADB’s fourth solar project in Thailand. The plants will be developed at three sites in the Thai provinces of Nakhonpathom and Suphanburi under the country’s “very small power producer” programme which buys renewable energy from power plants to provide clean energy to the grid.

The project is also part of EGCO’s plans to increase its installed renewable energy capacity to more than 300MW by 2015. Currently, the company owns 64MW of solar energy and 9.9MW of biomass projects. ADB helps provide the necessary long-term financing, which is one of the biggest barriers to its plan.

“ADB is contributing to build a critical mass of successful large scale solar power projects in Thailand, which will give confidence to more investors and banks that solar power is a proven technology and a sound investment,” said Daniel Wiedmer, senior investment specialist at ADB’s private sector operations department.