19 July 2011

US Ex-Im Bank $9.2m loan finances Abound's exports to India

The Export–Import Bank of the United States (Ex–Im Bank) says that it is providing a $9.2m long-term loan to support exports of cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules from Abound Solar Inc in Loveland, CO, USA to India-based solar integrator Punj Lloyd Solar Power Ltd (owned by Punj Lloyd Infrastructure Ltd, which develops projects primarily on a public–private partnership basis). The firm is a subsidiary of Punj Ltd, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in India and part of the Punj Lloyd Group.

Abound’s modules will be installed by Punj Lloyd Solar Power in the construction of a 5MW solar project on a 62.5-acre site near the village of Bap, about 145km from Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan. The project is one of the first to be developed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, which aims to develop more than 20,000MW of installed solar power by 2022.

Ex–Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps to create and maintain US jobs by filling gaps in private export financing (via mechanisms including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance, and financing to help foreign buyers purchase US goods and services). In particular, it has a congressional mandate to increase support for US renewable energy and other environmentally beneficial exports. In the first nine months of fiscal 2011 (through 30 June), Ex-Im Bank has authorized almost $217m to support US environmentally beneficial exports, including nearly $100m for renewable-energy products and services.

India ranks first among Asian nations in Ex-Im Bank authorizations and exposure. In particular, Ex-Im Bank is the first international financing institution to approve solar-power projects under India’s National Solar Mission and one of the first to approve financing under the solar-power policy of the state of Gujarat. In fiscal 2011 to date, the bank has approved financing totaling about $75m for four solar projects in India. It also has about $500m of India solar projects in the pipeline that will generate an estimated 315MW of power.

“India has set ambitious goals to increase solar-energy production and is creating incentives to encourage solar companies to develop this market,” says Ex–Im Bank chairman & president Fred P. Hochberg. “Ex–Im Bank is pleased to partner with Punj Lloyd to enable a robust solar-power sector in India. We are working with US exporters to make sure that they have the competitive financing they need to participate in these important initiatives,” he added.

Hochberg is conducting a week-long business development mission in India, including participating in the US–India Strategic Dialogue meeting in New Delhi on 19 July headed by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodman Clinton.

“We are extremely proud to have US Ex–Im Bank’s support to achieve the financial closure for our project,” says Punj Lloyd Group chairman Atul Punj. “This sets the foundation towards our goal of being a leading developer and an engineering, procurement and construction [EPC] player within the solar utility-scale sector in India,” he adds.

“The ability to finance solar photovoltaic projects is as important as the quality of the components used,” comments Abound’s VP of marketing Russell Kanjorski. “Abound Solar is excited to have the support of Ex–Im Bank to expand the export of our US-manufactured solar modules to customers in India and elsewhere around the world.” 

The repayment of Ex–Im’s 18-year loan is based on the cash flows generated by the sale of electricity to NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN), the power trading subsidiary of India’s National Thermal Power Corp and the agency responsible for the purchase and sale of solar power under the first phase of the National Solar Mission. The Indian government has provided special power price incentives through NVVN.

Ex–Im Bank has also provided or assisted in financing US solar-energy exports to three other projects in India in fiscal 2011 to date: the Dalmia Solar Project in Rajasthan, the Azure Solar Project in Rajasthan, and the ACME Solar Technology Project in the state of Gujarat.

Tags: Abound Solar CdTe thin-film PV

Visit: www.exim.gov

Visit: www.abound.com

Visit: www.punjlloyd.com

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