(Alliance News) - A syndicate of banks, led by UniCredit Spa, has finalized a EUR320 million mini-perm project financing for EP Centrale Ostiglia Spa, a company wholly owned by EP Produzione Spa and indirectly by sponsor EP Power Europe AS, 100% of the EPH Group.

The project involves the construction and commissioning of a new gas turbine combined cycle unit with a total nominal capacity of 880 MW, built with state-of-the-art technology.

The new unit-which has been awarded a 15-year capacity market contract starting in 2024-will contribute to the path toward a sustainable energy transition undertaken by Italy and to the stability of the national electricity system. The plant's highly flexible, low-emission generation will be able to offset the intermittency of renewables, thus promoting the achievement of the decarbonization goals set by the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan.

The new unit, which will be built in an existing industrialized area - thus without the use of new land -, is technologically ready for the use of hydrogen and natural gas mixtures and is also equipped with an air condenser to mitigate the impact on water resources, increasing the availability and reliability of the unit even during the increasingly frequent seasons with low rainfall.

The innovative structured finance transaction for the energy sector was initiated, set up and coordinated by UniCredit as global coordinator and bookrunner, structuring mandated lead arranger, original lender and hedging bank, and underwritten by a unique set of domestic and international banks such as Banco BPM Spa, BPER Banca Spa, DZ BANK, MUFG and SMBC Bank EU AG as mandated lead arrangers and original lenders. Banco BPM, BPER, MUFG and SMBC Bank EU also acted as hedging banks, with BPER also acting as account bank and agent.

In addition to this project, EP Produzione is developing another 800 MW combined-cycle gas turbine unit, with class H technology among the most powerful and high-performance units built in Italy, at the Tavazzano and Montanaso power plant in Lombardy. Both projects, totaling 1,600 MW of new capacity, will introduce a new level of efficiency and flexibility in electricity generation to the Italian energy market.

UniCredit's stock is up 0.8 percent at EUR34.67 per share.

By Giuseppe Fabio Ciccomascolo, Alliance News senior reporter

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