Saturday, 29 November 2014
Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy has this week called for Expressions of Interest (EoI) from investors to upgrade and build out its power transmission network. A power generation EoI was issued in October following the launch of the government’s Power Sierra Leone programme to increase capacity from 100MW to 1000MW by 2017 and over 200 investors from Europe, Asia, the US and Africa have responded with a variety of proposals. It is expected to be some time before the government can mobilise financing for the plan as it struggles to cope with the Ebola crisis affecting the region.
Larger, more complex, deals in mature markets are being siphoned off by top-tier firms while local players seem content to pick up better suited roles on renewables and standardised PPPs. Expansion into Mexico, Myanmar and South Africa may change all that next year. By Colin Leopold.
Evolving markets in US P3 and Latin America energy, as well as massive financings related to the natural gas industry were the big stories for law firms in 2014. By Alison Healey and Nic Stone.
The project finance market in Europe has become intensively competitive as the number and type of debt providers grows. Banks are coming back strongly into the medium and long term debt market as the effects of the euro crisis fade. Institutional investors, attracted into the market to fill the gaps made when the banks left during the euro crisis, remain and indeed are growing keener on the infrastructure sector. In times of low interest rates and low inflation, the yield uptick offered by creditworthy projects is compelling.
The keenly awaited annual Project Finance International (PFI) Global Infrastructure report has been published at a time when the market is turning. More long term liquidity is available for infrastructure schemes, pricing on shorter term infraco deals is moving down encouraging sponsors back into bidding for assets and the projects pipeline is showing signs of growing once again.
PFI has released its first Best Practice in Asia report - at a time when the procurement and development of projects has never been more critical as the region seeks to ensure its infrastructure keeps pace with its economic growth. The report includes a range of views from senior project practitioners plus the first PFI Citations for best practice.
This is the 8th year that PFI is putting together an annual report on India. It comes at a special time when the country has just elected a new prime minister – Narendra Modi – the leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, who broke the status quo and is expected to bring marked changes to the direction the economy has been going through. The theme of the report will thus be “the rebooting of India”.
Asia-Pacific project finance has had its up and downs. Over recent years, apart from a few landmark deals, it has been fairly quiet although hardly dormant. The pipeline deal list going forward, however, is impressive, so surely now must be the time for the home of project finance to step back into the limelight.
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The Global Energy report takes a look at the full range of issues currently exercising the project finance market - from funding schemes in Africa and obtaining finance for coal fired plants onto renewables, FLNG and the LNG boom in North Americas.
The need for rail road, power, port and resources infrastructure has become an economic priority for countries across the Asia Pacific. The lessons from past infrastructure financing failures have also been learned as governments, sponsors and lenders frame new financial structures that share and minimise financial risk during construction.