SPI Solar's $1.6bn credit line

In an announcement sure to further fire up solar companies claiming Chinese competitors benefit from state subsidies, SPI Solar has announced $1.6 billion worth of new credit lines from three Chinese banks.

The San Francisco-headquartered developer yesterday (Thursday) announced it had secured three lines of credit, including a RNM2 billion ($319 million) facility from the state-owned China Construction Bank.

And SPI topped the announcement by revealing today, according to a report on PR Newswire, it has signed a credit facility with the world’s largest bank, the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. No figures were mentioned in the newswire report.

Although the lion’s share of SPI’s publicly quantified new credit lines came in the form of a RNM7 billion ($1.1 billion) facility from the privately-owned China Minsheng Bank, any idea the new cash facility was free from Chinese government backing was somewhat clouded by the announcement of the credit lines by Xiaofeng Peng, chairman of SPI.

A corporate statement on the SPI Solar website announcing the development quoted Peng as saying: "Gaining the support of these three banks, usually reserved for China’s state-owned enterprises, gives SPI the ability to execute on our strategic plan to an even larger scale and positions us to greater long-term value for our shareholders."

The remaining credit line, worth some RMB 1 billion ($160 million), was secured from the Suzhou Bank.