New wind farm seeks US$20m from IFC

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

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US-OWNED BMR Energy aims to secure US$20 million in financing from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for its multimillion dollar wind farm in St Elizabeth.

"IFC is considering a $20 million loan to BMR Jamaica Wind Limited to support the development of a 34 megawatt (MW) greenfield wind farm in St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica," said the private finance arm of the World Bank in a recent disclosure.

The financing from the IFC would include an "A Loan for its own account of up to US$10 million, and a concessional loan as implementing entity of the Canada Climate Change Programme of up to US$10 million".

The rest of the debt financing needs of the project is slated to come from a long-term senior loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the IFC stated.

The planned 34 MW wind farm, which costs US$90 million ($9.9 billion), should slash US$500 million in oil imports over 20 years, company documents indicate.

The wind farm will be adjacent to the existing three MW wind farm in Munroe owned by the national power utility, Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).

The BMR project should begin construction in the fourth quarter of 2014 and commence operations in mid-2015, stated the IFC.

BMR's main partner includes American Capital Ltd (ACL), a management firm that seeks to invest in fast-growing companies via debt and equity.

Over the last three years ACL committed over US$2 billion in new investments. It recently increased its focus on investments in its American Capital Energy Infrastructure (ACEI) division with investments in Nigeria and Jamaica.

"ACEI partnered with a veteran management team to create BMR Energy LLC ("BMR"), a new energy company focused on developing and investing in power and related energy infrastructure throughout Central America and the Caribbean," said the ACEI in its latest annual report. "ACEI committed US$25 million to BMR's first project, which is a 34 MW wind farm in Malvern, St Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica."

In September 2013, the Office of Utilities Regulation in Jamaica selected BMR to build, own, and operate the wind project.

The project falls under the Government's drive to generate 20 per cent of the island's energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Currently eight per cent of the country's energy comes from renewable sources (including biomass) or three percentage points lower than the target of 11 per cent by 2012, experts indicate.




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