JBIC expanding credit portfolio for energy investments, including geothermal
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is keen at expanding its credit portfolio for investments in the energy sector, primarily for renewable energy and new power projects, which includes geothermal projects.
As reported locally, “The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is keen at expanding its credit portfolio for investments in the energy sector, primarily for renewable energy and new power projects.
JBIC-Manila chief representative Sumio Ishikawa indicated that the lending firm will be most active in financing projects in which Japanese projects are involved, including their potential joint venture with Filipino firms.
Asked how big the credit facility they would be allotting for energy projects, Ishikawa noted “the decision to fund a project will be case-to-case basis.”
In terms of prioritization, he emphasized that “geothermal is something we are looking at, as well as mini-hydro projects as they are cornering interest from Japanese investors, so we would be happy to consider financing them.”
The Japanese lending firm currently has $150-million credit facility for projects linked to Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) initiatives. It has been channeled through the Development Bank of the Philippines, and this also covers energy projects. Ishikawa said the loan portfolio may be increased depending on the projects that will be lodged before them for funding.
“What we have at DBP is $150 million, so if the project is bigger than that, we may consider increasing the loan portfolio,” he emphasized. Direct lending will also be undertaken, primarily for power projects sponsored by Japanese firms.
JBIC said it is counting on prospects that Japanese firms may again take vigorous and strategic involvements in greenfield or expansion of power projects given the anticipated closing of supply-demand gap by 2012 or 2013. “We are interested in new power projects. Since Napocor (National Power Corporation) is not there anymore, if there are Japanese investors who are interested to invest in power plants, we are ready to support them,” Ishikawa said.
JBIC has been NPC’s biggest lender during the regime of the independent power producers in the ‘90s, the investment era that solved the country’s worst power crisis. The functional financing support from the multilateral lending firm has always stimulated the participation of Japanese investors in pursuing various power projects in the country.
“We hope the Japanese companies will be involved again in new projects, like joint venture between Japanese and the Philippine companies,” the JBIC official noted.”
Source: Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp.