A syndicated loan for US$910M has been signed by the joint venture building the 750MW La Yesca project in Mexico.

The JV, Constructora de Proyectos Hidroelectricos (CPH), agreed the loan from the syndicate led by the German bank WestLB’s New York branch.

The concession contract for US$768M was awarded in September 2007 by Mexico’s state power utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

The syndicated loan term expires in the second quarter of 2012, by the end of which the plant is to be operational. It is planned that the loan is paid off in two instalments, the initial payment when the first turbine-generator is accepted by the client and then be fully amortised upon CPE’s approval of the second unit.

Ingenieros Civiles Asociados (ICA) is the lead partner in the JV of local firms, which also includes Promotora e Inversora Adisa, La Peninsular Compania Constructora and Constructora de Proyectos Hidroelectricos. ICA holds a two-thirds stake in the JV.

La Yesca will involve construction of a 627.8m long by 205.5m high dam (previously cited by official sources as 220m) on the Santiago river to creates the world’s highest concrete face rockfill dam (CFRD).

The project also involves installation of a spillway with six hydraulically-operated radial gates, two 194m long concrete-and steel-lined penstocks, and an underground powerhouse.

Russian company Power Machines is a subcontractor to the JV, and is supplying two 375MW turbines plus generators, ancillary equipment and a 3MW plant for construction needs. Its contract is values at approximately US$200M.