IFC Wins Renewable Deal of the Year Award for Chinese Wind Project
The IFC-arranged $140 million loan to China WindPower Group for a wind farm in the Gobi desert won the 2010 "Renewable Deal of the Year" award for Asia Pacific from Project Finance International.
The magazine praised the transaction as “a benchmark for international financing” of Chinese wind-power projects.
The award affirms IFC’s leadership in innovative financing of renewable energy projects in East Asia and the Pacific and its commitment to help China, one of the world’s largest carbon emitters, fight climate change.
Located in Gansu, the wind farm will support the economic development of a frontier province in China by generating about 454 gigawatt hours of electricity annually over 20 years, a key driver of economic growth. It reduces China’s use of coal, helping to avoid about 421,000 carbon-dioxide emissions annually, and raises private participation in China’s wind power market.
In choosing the IFC project for the award, the magazine noted, “The $249 million, 201-megawatt Ganhekou Wind Farm No. 8 constitutes the first wind farm in China to be financed with long-term project finance debt in U.S. dollars from a syndicate of international banks.
“With China expected to surpass the U.S. in terms of installed capacity by 2011, there will be a number of similar style deals in the pipeline as international banks become more interested in providing finance.”
IFC provided $45 million to the project from its own account and raised $95 million from Societe Generale, Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A, and Rabobank in November last year. IFC also took a $10 million equity stake in the company to support its expansion in other emerging economies such as India and Africa.
China WindPower is one of the country’s largest privately-owned wind power development companies. The project is in line with IFC’s commitment to triple climate change-related investments to $3.3 billion over the next three years.
Contributed by Heda Bayron, East Asia and Pacific/Communications Practice Group