One of the major reasons for the Chinese success in the export markets in Asia and Africa have been the massive vendor financing done by state owned Chinese banks.Large orders have been won by Chinese companies like Dongfang Electric and Huawei as Chinese Banks financed the multi billion Indian orders by cheap loans.Note in large project finance cases cheap loans can make a huge difference in project returns and can be the clincher in choosing the equipment supplier.The US Exim Bank too seems to be pulling up its socks in helping American companies win large equipment orders through vendor financing.Note the US Exim Bank had got involved in a huge controversy when it agreed to finance a ultra mega power plant based on coal energy by Reliance Power in India.Despite protests by environmentalists,Exim Bank had gone ahead in financing as it would lead to jobs in America.Note USA is one of the biggest laggards in climate change and the government does not really care much out there.
Now the US Exim Bank has picked on 2 solar projects in India which are going to be built by Amercian companies.One is by the Thin Film Solar PV Leader First Solar and another by a small time Solar Thermal equipment supplier Infinia Corporation. Note the interest rates in India are extremely high compared to the US and vendor financing by a US bank leads to a massive increase in profits for the project owner.
Ex-Im Bank has approved two transactions financing solar-energy exports to India that will support more than 100 American jobs at the production facilities of Infinia Corporation in Kennewick, Wash., and First Solar Inc. in Perrysburg, Ohio.
“These are the kinds of cutting-edge, U.S. renewable-energy technology exports that President Obama and Ex-Im Bank have made a priority. Our financing is enabling these innovative companies to realize exciting sales opportunities in key markets and maintain jobs in their communities,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.
Ex-Im Bank is the first international financing institution to approve solar-power projects under India’s National Solar Mission and the State of Gujarat’s Solar Power Policy.
Ex-Im Bank authorized a $30 million direct loan to the project sponsor, Dalmia Solar Power Ltd., on a limited-recourse project-finance basis. The loan will finance the sale of PowerDish™ – a modular solar electricity system – by a Washington State small business, Infinia Corporation, for a 10-megawatt (MW) solar-thermal project in Rajasthan.
The repayment of the loan is based on the cash flows generated by the sale of PowerDish-generated electricity to NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. (NVVN), the power trading subsidiary of India’s National Thermal Power Corp. The Indian government has provided special power price incentives to NVVN to promote the development of 20,000 MW of installed solar power by 2022.
“Ex-Im Bank’s support was absolutely essential for providing the long-term financing needed to move this project forward,” said Infinia CEO J.D. Sitton. “Infinia is at the forefront of developing technologies here in the United States that outperform traditional solar electricity generation, and we are grateful to have Ex-Im Bank as a partner helping us to grow our American work force.”
Infinia’s PowerDish produces more electricity, uses less space and costs less money than other solar-power systems by converting concentrated solar energy into electricity. The PowerDish couples Infinia’s free-piston Stirling engine with a dish-style solar concentrator to produce three kilowatts of grid-quality AC power. The company was created in 1967 to pioneer new ways to meet customer needs for heating, cooling and electricity. Its customers have included NASA and the Department of Energy. Infinia has approximately 145 employees at it manufacturing facility in Kennewick, Wash.
Ex-Im Bank also authorized a $19 million loan guarantee to PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a long-term fixed-interest rate loan supporting sales of thin-film solar modules by First Solar Inc. to a 15-MW solar power plant in the state of Gujarat.