Non-recourse financing for renewable power projects

Non-recourse financing for renewable power projects

Non-recourse financing for renewable power projects

Published Apr 8 

How to achieve non-recourse financing for renewable power projects

Given the current bankability status of PPAs, it is important to secure a loan for the projects which is guaranteed by a charge on specific assets or on the revenues generated from a specific project or assets. This is how a non-recourse financing works. If the borrower defaults and the security does not realize the full value of the loan, the lender cannot recover the shortfall from the borrower or from its other assets or revenues.

In essence, the ability to reach non-recourse financing arrangement will mostly depend on the negotiation between the lenders and the borrowers, e.g. whether or not the collateral is sufficient to cover the repayment obligations, as well as the potential economy benefits of the projects, from the lenders’ point of view. Meanwhile, the concept of non-recourse financing is barely introduced Globally, and it is quite difficult to find a bank which is willing to finance projects on non-recourse basis. Generally speaking, non-recourse financing may be very costly (in terms of interest rates) and requires a lot of effort to negotiate with stakeholders. It is essential that the investor use a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”) so that the SPV will be the borrower of the project financing arrangement, while the investor is to be the sponsor of the deal. Since the SPV shall not have any projects other than project assets, the lenders will have to rely heavily on the financial prospects of the project to minimize their risk. A full recourse finance deal will mean that the sponsor (or any other asset-rich entities related to the sponsor) shall guarantee for the debt of the SPV, while a non-recourse deal shall see no involvement of any third party. In that case, a non-recourse financing arrangement shall be deemed achieved.

Entering into a BOT

(Build-Operate-Transfer) contract with the Government. With this option, as it is agreed that the investors shall build and operate the project for a certain period of time (and receive the profit during such period) and it is the Government who will own the project at the end upon the expiration of the BOT contract, the BOT contract will be more bankable and thus the non-recourse/limited recourse financing arrangement can be achievable.

Currently, there is no foreign ownership restriction in energy sector in local laws or international commitments. The foreign investor may choose among permitted investment forms: 100% foreign invested company, joint venture or public private partnership in the form of BOT contract.

guarantee from Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (“MIGA”).

As the guarantee from the MIGA covers 5 types of non-commercial risks, i.e. (i) currency inconvertibility and transfer restriction; (ii) expropriation; (ii) war, terrorism, and civil disturbance; (iii) breach of contract; non-honoring of financial obligations; separately or together with Option 2, MIGA’s guarantee can help to enhance the bankability of the power purchase agreement.

To cooperate with a State-owned commercial bank (“SOCB”) or Private finance company. For its guarantee of the project and then, negotiate with lenders to eliminate all recourses that lenders may ask from the sponsors and/or the borrowers. This appears to be the more realistic option but it may come with a higher interest rate and requires extensive negotiation with the SOCB and lenders. In all ramification, Havelet Finance is trusted in all project Financing.

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