The US’s Export-Import Bank has awarded loans totalling US$103.2 million to two Indian companies to help finance planned projects in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The recipients, Dahanu Solar Power and Tatith Energies, will use the funds to pay for panels and engineering services from US PV companies First Solar, SolarWorld and American Capital Energy.
Dahanu, which is building a 40MW system in Gujarat, will receive the lion’s share of the financing; its US$84.3 million direct loan will facilitate the purchase of First Solar’s thin-film panels. Meanwhile, Tatith’s US$18.9 million loan will cover the cost of American Capital Energy’s construction services and SolarWorld’s panels for its 5MW Rajasthan project.
“Financing is a critical part of any solar project, and the support from Ex-Im Bank has helped to provide Dahanu Solar Power with First Solar's advanced, thin-film modules,” said Jim Brown, president of First Solar's Utility Systems Business Group. “Collaborating with Ex-Im Bank accelerates renewable-energy deployment, allowing our customers to meet the growing demand for clean, renewable solar energy in India.”
“Working with Ex-Im Bank has been a very positive experience for SolarWorld because of their willingness to help true U.S. manufacturers export product,” said Raju Yenamandra, vice president of sales and business development for SolarWorld Americas. “In a competitive world, this has given us a real advantage in exporting to attractive markets like India.”
In the current fiscal year, the Ex-Im Bank has now helped finance six projects in India, with loans totalling US$176.4 million. These funds are playing a valuable role in the growth of India’s solar sector and realising the goals of the Government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
Although several Indian financial institutions have recently begun funding the downstream sector, for the industry to really take off, long-term financing on commercially friendly terms from foreign investors is required. “India is making a big push for renewable energy,” Ex-Im Bank chairman Fred Hochberg said. “Solar companies in the United States know that if they can get into this growing market, they have a bright future ahead of them. Ex-Im Bank stands ready to help our exporters win that future.”