(Atlas, 3.Mar.2020) — Atlas Renewable Energy, and DNB Markets announced the issuance of a $253 million US private placement (“USPP”) in Green Bond format. The notes were rated investment grade (BBB-) by Fitch Rating (including the construction period of one of the projects) and were issued by subsidiaries of Atlas Renewable Energy to refinance Javiera and build Sol del Desierto, two solar PV plants located in the north of Chile. The transaction is the largest solar PV green USPP issuance in Latin America to date.
DNB Markets acted as Sole Lead Placement Agent for the notes. The bond was issued under Atlas Renewable Energy’s Green Finance Framework, which is aligned with 2018 versions of the ICMA Green Bond Principles and the LMA Green Loan Principles. This framework recognizes and attests to the company’s commitment to developing projects that protect and preserve the environment while adhering to the highest standards of environmental engagement.
The two solar PV generation assets are located in the Atacama and Antofagasta regions in the north of Chile, and together they have a total installed capacity of 314MWp. Both projects have been combined under a single financing portfolio – an innovative structure that provides the investors with key structural benefits and synergies of cross-collateralized assets and cross-guaranteed cash flows. A similar original arrangement was seen in Atlas Renewable Energy’s refinancing of its two solar plants in Uruguay in 2018, structured by DNB Markets and for which the company was awarded the 2018 Structured Bond Deal of the Year.
This time, the transaction comprises two of the company’s solar PV projects in northern Chile: Javiera is a 70MWp fully operational asset, which provides clean energy under a Corporate PPA with Minera Los Pelambres (majority owned by Antofagasta Minerals) since 2015; and Sol del Desierto, a 244MWp greenfield project being developed by Atlas Renewable Energy, currently under construction. This plant is expected to start providing clean energy to Engie Energia Chile S.A by 2022. Sol del Desierto will use bifacial technology, which collects sunlight not only on the front side but also on the rear side to maximize generation.
“We are very proud of this unique financial solution, tailor-made for these projects in order to enhance investment value” said Carlos Barrera, CEO of Atlas Renewable Energy, who also added: “This transaction demonstrates Atlas’ further consolidation in the capital markets with repeat investors across multiple projects and jurisdictions.” He continued: “It is a pleasure to work with and have the confidence of high-caliber investors as we continue to mobilize capital to expand clean, renewable energy across Latin America.”
“This represents DNB’s largest US Private Placement transaction in Latin America and the second for Atlas Renewable Energy (all with green certifications) and continues to demonstrate DNB’s strong placement capabilities and industry experience in Latin America” stated Emilio Fabbrizzi, Managing Director at DNB Markets in New York. “DNB’s Sustainable Finance team also advised Atlas in setting up a Green Finance Framework, which was validated by Sustainalytics and will allow the company to issue further green bonds and loans by its four subsidiaries in the future.“