A number of energy projects and related investment deals have been announced in Taiwan during the recent period, the latest of which is a syndicated loan secured by Si One Corp. and Dali Energy Corp. to build 100MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation capacity around the island. Si One and Dali Energy are wholly owned subsidiaries of Neo Cathay Power Corp., which is a joint venture between Neo Solar Power Corp. (NSP) and Cathay Life Insurance Co. Ltd. The syndicate is led by Taiwan’s First Commercial Bank Ltd. and includes Far Eastern International Bank Ltd., KGI Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., Taishin International Bank Co. Ltd., Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., Taiwan Shin Kong Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., Bank SinoPac Co. Ltd., and Chang Hwa Bank Ltd.
The official signing of the loan agreement took place on 27 December at a ceremony jointly hosted by President Grace M. L. Jeng of First Commercial Bank, President Andy Shen of NSP, and Senior Vice President Shi-Qiao Lin of Cathay Life.
According to the loan coordinator First Commercial Bank, this syndicate loan is a five-year facility with the option for two five-year extensions. Totaling NT$3.5 billion, the loan will be used to fund the construction of solar PV power plants around Taiwan. Neo Cathay Power plans to install 100MW of solar PV generation capacity on the island over the next two years. Once these power plants are completed, they will provide approximately 120 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year – enough to supply around 33,000 households. Furthermore, the amount of carbon emissions that the 100MW of solar power plants can offset every year is estimated at 63,480 metric tons. Together, these solar power plants have the same carbon absorption capacity as a huge forest area that is 246 times the size of Taipei’s Da’an Forest Park.
Announcement by the First Commercial Bank also pointed out that NSP, which is one of the joint venture partner behind Neo Cathay Power, has been a leader in solar PV technology. Its products are known for their high conversion efficiency and reliability. Furthermore, NSP has been successful over the recent years in bringing down its production cost and expanding its services. The company is currently offering installations of PV systems in the overseas markets and has impressive results in developing the power plant business.
Because of these achievements, Taiwan’s banking industry firmly endorses the 100MW project by Neo Cathay Power and is proactive in participating in its investment. The loan in fact has been oversubscribed shortly after its issuance to NT$5.6 billion. The level of engagement shows that Taiwan’s banking industry is very bullish on the domestic solar market.
President Shen of NSP stated that his company and Cathay Life will ensure that their joint venture is committed to the mission of developing, building and acquiring solar PV power plants in Taiwan. Shen added this syndicated loan, together with the policy support toward renewable energies from Taiwan’s government, will accelerate the construction of solar PV projects on the island and expand their capacity scales.
Regarding the loan agreement, Cathay Financial Holdings Co. Ltd. – the parent company of Cathay Life – stated that its entire organization has spared no effort in promoting green energies and green financing. Cathay Financial Holdings and its subsidiaries will keep working towards a future where economic growth will also be environmentally sustainable. Among domestic insurance companies, Cathay Life is one of the earliest to invest in the green energy sector. The company has taken concrete actions in support of the government’s call to invest in green technologies and intends to become the industry’s leader in this area. The formation of Neo Cathay Power with NSP, for instance, is going to inject new vitality to the development of Taiwan’s renewable energy market.
(Photo credit: Money DJ.)