Welcome to the 2020 Refinitiv Project Finance International (PFI) Yearbook. The Yearbook is our annual publication in which we look at the events of 2019, through case studies and the PFI Awards, and look forward into 2020 with a range of articles in the Global section of the book.
Global Bank of the Year – SMBC - SMBC had a very busy year across all global platforms – loans, bonds and advisory. The bank has 400 professionals across the world working on project finance. It has been involved in a range of landmark transactions this year.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s emergence almost four years ago altered a landscape long dominated by American, Western European and Japanese capital. China’s challenge to that hegemony represented the country’s desire to have its economic clout matched by multilateral credentials. Despite controversy, the AIIB’s opening foray has been auspicious. ByJonathan Rogers.
Korea Development Bank, a 100% state-owned development bank that has long been the backbone of South Korean industry, has in recent years been transformed into securities company, investment bank and debt workout specialist. ByJonathan Rogers.
An oft-heard refrain in our world is that there is too much capital chasing too few deals. It is true that there is a lot of capital, both debt and equity, that is available to invest in infrastructure projects and companies. By Nasir Khan, managing director, head of infrastructure finance, Americas, Natixis CIB.
In late November, Andy Kinsella, the chief executive officer of Mainstream Renewable Power, had an audience with the vice-president of Vietnam, Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh. Not many Irishmen would have had an audience in the Vietnamese presidential palace over the years, but for Kinsella this was a seminal moment for the renewable power developer that he helms. By Nic Stone.
Libor is commonly used in project finance transactions as the basis for the calculation of a floating interest rate for sterling and US dollar loans. It is very likely that Libor will cease to be published after 2021 and will need to be replaced by an alternative risk-free rate. By Chris Brown, head of banking and finance EMEA, and Claire Edwards, knowledge of counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright.
By the end of November 2019, global LNG supply had grown by 13% year-on-year, or just under 36.3mt, originating mostly from new capacity coming onstream in the US, Australia and Russia. This accumulates to remarkable growth in supply of almost 35% in the past five years, with 2019 surpassing 2017 as the second highest increase on record. By Pat Breen, chief executive officer, Kieran Powyer, manager and Tom Field, senior consultant, Gas Strategies.
Interest in renewable energy has skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Organisations worldwide are making commitments to transform their operations and achieve anywhere from 50% to 100% of energy procurement from renewable sources. ByErin Decker, director, Cleantech Client Management, Schneider Electric.
Technological advancements, new policies, innovative financing structures, and market entrants: the energy transition to renewable sources has certainly blossomed in recent years. By Trevor d’Olier-Lees, senior director, North America Infrastructure, and Luisina Berberian, associate director, EMEA Infrastructure, S&P Global Ratings.
A discussion about financing liquidity for offshore wind in Taiwan should probably start by highlighting how successful the country has been in jump-starting its offshore wind power industry. By Daniel Mallo, head of energy, infrastructure and metals & mining - Asia Pacific, Societe Generale.
Over the past two decades, there has been plenty of appetite for private-sector investment in the development and financing of new, greenfield large-scale energy and infrastructure projects across Vietnam despite challenging market conditions. By Pham Ba Linh, managing partner and head of energy, project finance and infrastructure, Lexcomm Vietnam LLC.
Allens project finance specialists provide insights into the trends and challenges across the last 12 months and opportunities for 2020. By Michael Ryan, partner and head of project finance, Lisa Zhou, managing associate, and Jamie Guthrie, senior associate, Allens.
Fifteen years ago, Bernd von Wieding, a farmer in the north of Poland, had a vision: harness the powerful and steady winds coming from the Polish Baltic Sea to generate electricity. Inspired by the early offshore wind pioneers in the North Sea, he eventually submitted his first offshore project site applications – the beginning of the 350 MW FEW Baltic II project. By Udo Schneider, director, Green Giraffe.
Bank of the Year – Citi - Citi was the stand-out bank in the Americas in 2019 based on the bank’s innovation in Latin America and progression into new asset classes, as well as its leadership role in some of the year’s most complex transactions.
Venture Global was able to pull off the first major project financing for modular LNG construction in the US. A total of US$5.8bn was raised for Calcasieu Pass LNG. By Alison Healey.
America is stronger with the Export-Import Bank operating at full capacity, but key provisions concerning who can access the bank’s resources will need to be reconciled between congressional Democrats and Republicans before the bank will be re-authorised long-term. A long-term re-authorisation would lift prospects for new project finance deals that rely on support from the Bank. ByAaron Cutler, partner, andKevin Wysocki, government relations specialist, Hogan Lovells.
This article surveys the phasing down of the investment tax credit available for renewable energy facilities, with a focus on qualifying storage for the ITC. By Sam Kamyans, partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
The island of Kaua’i has relied on importing fossil fuels for electricity production, which has resulted in the island’s cost of electricity being among the nation’s highest. By Eric Kim, director, Energy Group, Corporate & Investment Banking, SG Americas Securities.
Following two consecutive years of above-capacity operations, Porto Itapoá, a regionally important terminal in southern Brazil, needed to expand. By Sami Asad Mir, partner, Allen & Overy LLP.
Bank of the Year – MUFG - It has been a busy year for Japanese bank MUFG and nowhere more so than in the Asia-Pacific region, where the institution is PFI’s Asia-Pacific Bank of the Year.
The project financing of the Waipipi wind farm, closed in September 2019, came at an important time for the New Zealand energy market as the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act was progressing through parliament. By Richard Matthews, vice-president, advisory, Australian structured finance office, MUFG Bank.
Queensland is seeing major public transport infrastructure being delivered to meet the increasing demands of population growth and urban renewal in the state. Key projects include Cross River Rail and the Gold Coast Light Rail. By David Warren, partner, Peter Schenk, partner, Ella Pope, senior associate, Twina Au Yeung, senior associate, Nina Nguyen, associate, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
The Riau combined-cycle gas turbine power plant project achieved financial close in November 2019. By Yuichiro Yoi and Juan-Pablo Martinez-Molina Mercado of Asian Development Bank, Yuji Kano of International Finance Corporation, and James Murray of Milbank LLP in Singapore.
This article highlights the unique features of the first two monorail mass rapid transport lines in Thailand, known as the Bangkok Mass Transit Pink Line and the Bangkok Mass Transit Yellow Line – one of the very few MRT projects in the region that have been financed on a project finance basis. By Shuji Hashizume and Daniel Wiedmer, Asian Development Bank, Martin David and Waranon Vanichprapa, Baker & McKenzie, and Terence CK Kong, BTS.
Upper Trishuli - 1, a 216MW hydropower plant, has been financed with US$453m of debt from a consortium of nine international lenders. By Ankit Chaturvedi and Abhas Sharma, Synergy Consulting, and Kamal Dorabawila and Lopa Shah, International Finance Corporation.
Bank of the Year – Societe Generale - Societe Generale had a strong year working on the trending sectors of 2019 – offshore wind and fibre. The bank’s franchise in offshore wind now stretches well beyond Europe into the US and into Asian countries such as Taiwan and Vietnam. Structuring skills from the developed European market are needed in these new territories.
Bank of the Year – Standard Chartered - Over the last couple of years, the project finance market in the Gulf has sprung to life once again. The market has changed from previous heights. There are fewer of the mega deals of the past and a lot more renewable and PPP-style deals.
Bond investors made room for a second helping of Italy’s A35 loss-making Italian toll road Brebemi, with the refinancing agreement representing one of Europe’s largest project bond deals so far. ByJordan Bintcliffe.
The IFC, EBRD, Suez, Itochu, Marguerite and their partners helped the Serbian capital close the Vinca dumpsite project and take a major step towards a circular economy. By Stephane Heddesheimer, Suez CEO for Poland and Serbia, Philippe Thiel, country manager for Serbia; and Thomas Lubeck, IFC regional manager for Central and South-East Europe.
The closing in October 2019 of the Emirates Water and Electricity Company’s 200MIGD independent water desalination project marks a landmark transaction in Abu Dhabi and the world’s largest IWP of its kind. By Rohit Gokhale, Rohit Sinha and Vivek Narnoli, ACWA Power’s acquisitions and project finance team.
A consortium comprising EDF Renewables and Masdar has closed the financing for the 400MW Dumat Al Jandal wind independent power project (IPP). By Nick Sinden, executive director, and Meishi Tan, senior associate, Cranmore Partners.
Infrastructure needs and specific project announcements in Africa have for decades failed to be matched by infrastructure delivered and projects financed and completed. Growing awareness of the need and pitfalls is favouring sponsors, financiers and advisers that are pragmatic and dedicated to the continent. By Matthew Wood, partner and head of African project finance, and Adrian Lawrence, partner, Ashurst.
The successful project financing of the Lekki deep-sea port project by China Development Bank (CDB) was signed in October 2019. This marks a key milestone in the development of the Lagos Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) – first launched in 2004 – of which the port will form a major strategic part. By Stephen Le Vesconte, partner,Xiaohui Ji, partner, and Bertrand Andriani, partner, Linklaters.
In September, France’s Meridiam and Singapore-based agri-business Olam International reached financial close on the US$310m Nouakchott port container terminal in Mauritania. The development and financing of port projects across Africa has been a recurring theme in 2019. By Peter Collins.
Grid connections permitting, see previous articles on the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and its marginal loss factors (MLFs), solar is making major strides in becoming the small to medium, to mega-sized power projects.