Yingli announces project bonds for Chinese public; will create online financing portfolio

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Joining a growing list of Chinese companies, including Canadian Solar and JinkoSolar, who are fast moving towards yieldcos, Yingli is looking into innovative ways to finance its projects.

The solar panel manufacturer has today announced the issuance of project bonds for an operational 4 MW PV project in China’s Hebei Province, following the completion of bond financing worth RMB 20 million yuan ($3.2 million), with project financing partners Tianjin Xinhai Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (Xinhai Leasing) and Principal Shield (Xiamen) Financial Technical Service Co., Ltd.

The project bonds will be available to the Chinese public at Shicaidai, a China-based internet finance firm offering P2B (person-to-business) online financial products. Commenting, Yingli chairman and CEO, Liansheng Miao said that as the manufacturer’s project pipeline expands, it intends to "build a series of new online financing products that enable the public to invest in clean energy instead of fossil fuels."

"We are proud to announce our project and its innovative financing method, which empowers individuals to invest in clean power projects while also providing a safe, flexible, and stable investment income. It’s our goal to begin replicating this approach as our project pipeline grows," he said.

Project bonds, an alternative form of debt funding, are said to be growing in popularity following the 2008 global financial crisis, which resulted in tighter controls on bank lending. They are said to be playing a "major role" in bridging financial gaps in funding infrastructure projects, according to the European PPP Expertise Centre.

Following the recent disclosure of Yingli’s huge $1.6 billion debt, it makes sense for the company to look into ways of relieving the burden. pv magazine has commented a number of solar market analysts to see their reaction to the news.