Vena issues $US325m green bond to help fund Australia battery, solar projects

RenewEconomy

Vena Energy, the Singapore-based company behind Australia’s largest unsubsidised big battery project to date, has issued its first green bond in a bid to lure global investors into the Asia-Pacific pure renewables space.

Vena Energy said on Friday that it had successfully issued the $US325 million fixed-rate green bond offering, with maturity set at five years with a 3.133 per cent rate.

The company said proceeds from the green bond would be used to refinance existing corporate loans for the development, construction and operation of eligible clean energy projects across its portfolio, including in Australia.

One of Vena Energy’s Australian projects is the construction of a 100MW/150MWh “giant” battery to be built via a deal with AGL Energy, next to the planned Wandoan solar farm in Queensland, which could wind up being 1000MW in capacity.

As RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson noted here, Vena Energy, formerly known as Equis Energy, has long held plans to build up to 1,000MW of solar PV around Wandoan, with the possible addition of battery storage.

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It expects to complete the battery within 18 months, and then have the first stage of the $650 million Wandoan South solar project in place by 2021 that could still expand to 1,000MW of solar and 450MW of storage.

Vena is also the owner of South Australia’s 95MW Tailem Bend solar farm, which late last year became the first renewable project of its kind to be granted approval for self-forecast generation by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). It may also be expanded, with a battery addd.

“This is a significant milestone for Vena Energy as we access the international capital markets, and an affirmation of the positive contributions that we have made to the environment and host communities in the Asia-Pacific region,” said the company’s CEO Nitin Apte said in a statement.

“We are proud of the positive reception from global investors experienced during our roadshows across Asia and Europe, as we reaffirmed our commitment to play a leading role in developing and generating clean renewable energy to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy across the Asia-Pacific region.”

Vena said its Green Financing Framework had been independently evaluated by Vigeo Eiris and Japan Credit Rating Agency, receiving the highest level of assurance from both agencies.

The Green Bonds issuance was facilitated by Crédit Agricole CIB, DBS Bank Ltd, ING and MUFG serving as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Lead Managers.

ABN AMRO, Banca IMI, BNP PARIBAS and SMBC Nikko served as Joint Lead Managers. Crédit Agricole CIB and SMBC Nikko also served as Joint Green Structuring Advisors.

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