March 3, 2023
VIENTIANE – US$692 million loan secured to finance region’s largest wind farm in Laos
A developer has signed a US$692 million loan agreement to finance the 600MW “Monsoon Wind Power Project” in Laos, the largest in Southeast Asia, according to media reports.
Thailand-based Impact Electrons Siam Limited (IES), Asia-Pacific’s leading renewable energy solutions provider, as the developer of the project known as Monsoon Wind and other shareholders recently inked the non-recourse financing agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as the lead arranger of the loan.
The other shareholders include ACEN Renewables International Pte. Ltd., STP&I Public Company Limited, and SMP Group, according to the Bangkok Post.
Monsoon Wind Power Company Limited will construct, own and operate the wind power plant and its dedicated 500kV transmission line in Laos’ Xekong and Attapeu provinces.
Comprising 133 turbines, the project will be the largest wind power farm in Southeast Asia and the first in Laos.
Under a 25-year power purchase agreement, electricity generated by the project will be sold to Vietnam Electricity (EVN).
The project will be co-financed by the ADB as lead arranger, Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Thai EXIM), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited (HKMC), Kasikornbank, and Siam Commercial Bank.
The project will give a significant boost to decarbonisation and green growth.
“As a pioneer of sustainable solutions, we are keen to be a part of the global fight against climate change by embarking on a green energy journey starting from our home region,” the CEO of IES, Mr Peck Khamkanist, was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.
“Laos possesses natural resources for renewable energy generation. This project also shows the carbon credentials of Laos. We are also part of the journey to uplift the well-being and happiness of the local communities in which we operate,” he added.
The project is set to generate revenue in foreign currencies to the Lao government through royalty fees and other sources, and create jobs for local people during the construction and operation periods.
In addition, the project’s community development programme will improve local living standards through health, education and economic schemes.
The developer plans to add an additional 1,000MW power generating plant nearby the existing Monsoon Wind site. The project, including the expansion, has the potential to offset over 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
Wind energy will diversify Laos’ main source of renewable energy generation – hydropower – which is mainly generated during the wet season. Its utilisation can enhance the stable supply of clean and affordable power to countries in the region.
“Developing economies in Asia and the Pacific face shortfalls in climate investments that are needed to clear a pathway to green growth. The syndication of development and commercial financing for this project bridges this gap by mobilising private capital to develop wind resources which are translated into clean power generation that can spur economic and social advancement in the region,” said ADB Private Sector Operations Department Director General Suzanne Gaboury.
“The financing from ADB and its partners will help unlock the Lao PDR’s untapped wind resources, providing a basis for a transition to clean energy and green growth that will have lasting benefits for the economy.”
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 3, 2023)