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Philippines gets novel lending support for renewables

Asian Development Bank offers bond initiative to back geothermal energy project.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Feb. 29, 2016 at 6:24 AM
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MANILA, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- The Asian Development Bank announced it issued its first-ever bond initiative to help back geothermal energy in the emerging Philippines market.

The ADB helped establish a local-currency bond valued at $225 million, on top of a direct loan of $37.7 million, to help support regional development of geothermal energy facilities.

The bank, which has headquarters in Manila, last year committed to doubling its finance for climate change and the bond represents the first such initiative of its kind in Asia.

"The transaction is highly innovative, representing the first project bond ever issued in local currency in the power sector," Reginaldo Cariaso, managing director at the Bank of Philippines, said in a statement.

The Philippines aims to boost its renewable energy capacity in an effort to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Last year, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said the country was among the regional economies expected to account for the bulk of the growth in new oil demand.

The government of the Philippines set a goal of installing about 2,870 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Last year, the ADB signed a $20 million finance assistance agreement with an international consortium of banks and the local EDC Burgos Wind Power Corp. to help with the development of the company's 150 megawatt wind farm on the northern Philippines island of Luzon.

The bank said bonds would offer an attractive alternative to bank financing for long-term renewable energy investment in the country.

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