US Exim bank to step up financing of Indian projects

July 18th, 2011 - 4:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) The Export-Import bank of the United States announced Monday it was stepping up its engagement with Indian companies in the area of clean energy, with long-term loans worth $25 million solar equipment imports and a pipleline of projects worth $500 million.

The beneficiaries of the loan are: Azure Power Rajasthan and Punj Lloyd, US Exim bank chairman and president Fred P. Hochberg told reporters at a press meet here.

Azure Power will get financing for importing thin-film photovaltic modules from Arizona-based First Solar Inc — a deal worth $16 million for a five-megawatt solar project in Rajasthan.

Punj Lloyd is being provided with a $9.2 million long-term loan to import similar equipment from Colorado-based Abound Solar for constructing a five-megawatt solar plant also in Rajasthan.

The bank also has about $500 million of Indian solar projects in the pipeline that will generate an estimated 315 MW of solar power.

“India has set ambitious goals to increase solar-energy production and is creating incentives to encourage solar companies to develop this market,” said Hochberg.

“We are working with US exporters to make sure that they have the competitive financing they need to participate in these important initiatives,” he added.

Exim Bank is the first international financing institution to approve solar-power projects under India’s National Solar Mission and in fiscal year 2011 to date, the bank has approved financing totalling $75 million for four solar projects.

“During the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, Exim bank has approved 173 transactions totalling $1.4 billion in financing of US exports to India which support over 10,000 US jobs,” said Hochberg.

The financial year for the bank starts in October.

The national solar mission envisages production of 20,000 MW of solar power in the country over the next decade.

India currently ranks first among Asian nations in the US Exim bank’s authorisations and the bank has a total exposure of $5.6 billion in various infrastructure projects.

“We expect India to be the largest market for us by end of the financial year 2012,” said Hochberg.

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