Inspiratia 2017: Aela in top renewables deals 

Aela among Inspiratia 2017's top 10 renewable energy operations

Transactions in the UK, Europe, Chile and Australia are the most important renewables deals.

January 4th, 2018

This year, Inspiratia looked for significant market developments, financing innovation and impact on future pipeline.

As an example, features several greenfield deals, many of which include innovative or new routes to market or some kind of merchant element, reflecting the changing project development conditions in Europe and elsewhere of the world.

Aela hits the spot with Chilean wind financing

Aela Energia’s recent wind deal in Chile was one of first in the market to come up with a financing solution for power replacement

Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power’s joint venture in Chile reached financial close earlier in August 2017 on a US$585 million (£456.9m €495.7m) wind financing that combines multilateral debt, commercial banks and a complex power sale arrangement.

The deal by Aela Energia took around a year from start to finish, straddling Donald Trump’s shock election as US president in November 2016 that proved to be something of a bump in the road for the process.

“Getting all the banks lined up during that political turmoil was a challenge, as rates were all over the place for a little while,” says Jesse Weinstock, Aela’s project finance leader in Santiago. “When you have six banks, the biggest thing is getting everyone focused to get the deal done and keeping everyone on the same timeline. It’s not easy at times, but once you have the syndicate locked down, then it’s much easier to get everything across the finish line.”

Attracted to the deal by Chile’s OECD status and the dollarisation of its energy market, the lending club features five commercial banks from Europe and Asia – Caixabank, KfW-IPEX, Korea Development Bank (KDB), MUFG and SMBC – while Santander is involved as VAT lender. But taking the biggest ticket with a US$135 million (£105.4m €114.4m) commitment is the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), acting via its member a£liate the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC).

For Aela, the IDB’s involvement was key, not only from a ticket size perspective, but also in helping the commercial banks get comfortable with the transaction. Weinstock adds that the organisation acted “extremely quickly” compared to the stereotype of a multilateral being slow-moving with layers of bureaucracy. It first became involved in March 2017 and had approved the loan by mid-June.