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IFC, ThomasLloyd okay energy fund

UK fund manager ThomasLloyd Group Ltd. and International Finance Corp., the investment unit the World Bank Group, recently signed an agreement to provide $330 million in funding to finance renewable energy projects in the Philippines.

ThomasLloyd said in a statement the amount would augment the $87 million in  development and construction capital already deployed or committed by the ThomasLloyd Group of companies and the ThomasLloyd Cleantech Infrastructure Fund.

The funding will be used to construct and operate a portfolio of three solar facilities and three biomass facilities in Negros island.

ThomasLloyd and IFC see transaction as the platform for expanding investment in the renewable energy sector.

“Our mandate with IFC gives us the opportunity to extend our plants for more power facilities. These will continue to create economic growth and prosperity, especially to rural communities,” Michael Sieg, Thomas Lloyd chairman and chief executive, said.

IFC resident representative Jesse Ang said the funding of renewable energy sources was a priority program in the Philippines, which pays the second-highest electricity rates in Asia after Japan and is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

“These projects in the island province of Negros support the World Bank Group’s global efforts to create more jobs to help reduce poverty, particularly provincial areas where it is more pronounced,” Ang said.

He said the Negros island projects were important for the area and the entire Visayas grid, which suffered brownouts after the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda.

ThomasLloyd has been advising and financing the development of renewable energy facilities in the Philippines for the past five years through a joint development agreement with local development partner Bronzeoak Philippines Inc.

Bronzeoak will finish the construction of the 22-megawatt solar project of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. in Negros island.

The solar project, once completed, will be the first utility scale renewable energy project built in the country to take advantage of the feed-in tariff under the Renewable Energy Law of 2008.

Two more solar projects in Negros are under development, with the first to be constructed this year.

ThomasLloyd has also financed the development and construction of San Carlos Biopower Inc.’s 20-MW biomass facility, which will use sugarcane waste from the local farming community.

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