Saudi Arabia’s Idea Polysilicon Company (IPC) is planning to reach financial close on the funding for its $1.1bn Yanbu project before the end of this year, according to chief financial officer Yasser Sweidan.

The company is already in talks with banks and has appointed the local Al-Rajhi Capital, the investment banking arm of Al-Rajhi, to advise on the deal.

The financing is set to include SR900m ($240m) from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, with the rest expected to come from local banks. “The Saudi banks are still very liquid and thirsty for new industrial projects like ours to invest in,” says Sweidan.

Idea Polysilicon Company (IPC) was set up by a group of regional businesses and aims to produce 10,000 tonnes a year of solar wafers to be used in production of solar panels. The project is one of several polysilicon schemes planned in Saudi Arabia to capitalise on the potential of the solar industry in the kingdom. Riyadh has announced plans to spend over $100bn on developing 16GW of solar power production.

“The bulk of our products will be to supply the local market and any additional capacity will be available for export,” adds Sweidan. The IPC plant should start commercial operation in mid-2015.