August 14, 2018
Quercus, the British renewable energy investor, announced on Tuesday that it was halting construction of a 500 million euro ($570 million) solar power project in Iran due to recently re-imposed US sanctions on Tehran, reported Reuters.
“Following the US sanctions on Iran, we have decided to cease all activities in the country, including our 600 MW project,”Quercus chief executive Diego Biasi said in an email
The firm will continue to monitor the situation closely, said Biasi, who declined to comment further.
The solar plant in Iran would have been the first renewable energy investment outside Europe by Quercus and the world’s sixth largest, with a 600 megawatt (MW) capacity.
Sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States earlier this month have already led banks and many companies around the world to scale back dealings with Tehran.
Construction was expected to take three years, with each 100 MW standalone lot becoming operational and connecting to the grid every six months.
The renewed sanctions were among those lifted under a 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran on curbing Iran’s nuclear program. US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in May. Heavier US sanctions, aimed at Iran’s oil sector, are due in November.
Iran’s rial currency has lost half its value since April under the threat of revived US sanctions. The currency’s collapse and soaring inflation have sparked sporadic demonstrations in Iran against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters chanting anti-government slogans.