Bank of Philippines funds ThomasLloyd solar joint venture

The bank has agreed to provide $12 million in bridge financing to the SaCaSol joint venture for the expansion of its solar pipeline.

San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (SaCaSol) has secured $12 million in bridge financing from the Bank of Philippines (BPI) for the expansion of its solar pipeline.

A joint venture between ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund and renewable energy group Bronzeoak Philippines Inc., SaCaSol is seeking to expand its portfolio of solar projects under construction and, to that end, has for the first time tapped the PhilippinesÂ’ bridge financing market.

SaCaSol President Jose Maria P. Zabaleta said that having constructed and grid-connected the first utility-scale solar plant in the country, the company was "keen to make the most of our experience and pursue our expansion projects announced at our plant’s inauguration on May 15."

He added that the new partnership with BPI was "key to helping us deliver a larger portfolio of projects to meet the growing needs of our country for daytime power to reduce our reliance on diesel peaking plants."

The SaCaSol portfolio currently under construction is located on the Philippine island of Negros as part of the Visayas grid.

"This is an important benchmark transaction, as we work to develop the debt financing market for further renewable energy projects in the Philippines,” said Tony Coveney, head of project finance for ThomasLloyd.

Alfonso Salcedo Jr., BPI’s executive vice president and group head of corporate banking, said the agreement helped to promote "the growth and development of renewable energy projects here in the country. It also helps address the issues of power shortages and the rising energy prices in the Visayas area through renewable sources of energy which supports the bank’s sustainability objectives."

In May, SaCaSol completed phase one of the first utility-scale solar park in the Philippines. Financed by ThomasLloyd and built by Conergy, the $45 million San Carlos I and II PV project is seen as a major achievement and a key part of the country’s efforts to expand solar power generation.