DomRep solar, wind opportunities take shape

DomRep solar, wind opportunities take shape

Debt Loans Project & Infrastructure Finance Energy Dominican Republic Caribbean

Two renewable energy project developers in the Dominican Republic advanced financing plans this week, securing debt for solar and wind-powered projects on the Caribbean island.

Taiwanese General Energy Solutions, or GES, secured $38m in 15-year debt from development banks DEG and FMO, according to a source familiar with the project.

Proceeds the German and Dutch development agencies will be on-lent to the renewable power developer's local subsidiary Electronic JRC, which will use proceeds to increase capacity of the Monte Plata solar plant to 69 MW from 30 MW.

The original 30 MW was commissioned back in September 2016.

Monte Plata comes with a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Dominican Republic's state-backed Corporacion Dominicana de Empresas Electricas Estatales (CDEEE). Power will be injected into the Sistema Electrico Nacional Interconectado (SENI) grid.

Roughly $53m will go towards the total expansion of the plant, according to the same source, and once Monte Plata is operational, it will serve as the largest solar photovoltaic project in the Caribbean.

German engineer Soventix, through its regional subsidiary Soventix Caribbean, is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services contractor, while Jimenez Cruz Peña was legal advisor to GES.

Meanwhile, in the island's Monte Cristi province, IC Power DR Operations, the Dominican subsidiary of Inkia Energy, netted a 4.5-year $73.5m loan from Citi.

Bermuda-based unit Inkia Americas Ltd. is guaranteeing the facility, which will go towards developing the 50 MW Agua Clara wind farm, a source close to this transaction said.

Agua Clara has a 20-year PPA with CDEEE and includes a clause to increase the plant's capacity to 200 MW in later development phases. The first phase of the project costs about $87m and commercial operations are slated to start in May 2019.

Sister companies Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and Gamesa Dominicana are providing EPC services for the project.

Jimenez Cruz Peña was legal advisor to Citi on Dominican law, while Milbank provided counsel to the bank on US law. Squire Patton Boggs acted as local counsel to IC Power DR Operations and Inkia Americas Ltd. and White & Case lent US counsel.

New York private equity firm I Squared Capital bought Inkia Energy from Singapore-domiciled Kenon Holdings for $1.17bn last November. Based out of Peru, Inkia Energy owns and develops conventional and renewable power generation facilities across Latin America.

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