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CIBC FirstCaribbean Curaçao participates in US$55 million

December 19th, 2011 | Tags: First Caribbean International Bank wind farm
Prime Minister of Curaçao, Mr. Gerrit Schotte (2nd from right) and Minister Jacinta Constancia toast with representatives from NuCuraçao Windparken during the groundbreaking ceremony that was held on December 9, 2011.
WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao- CIBC FirstCaribbean Corporate Investment Banking Curaçao has participated as a lender in a US$ 55 million senior secured credit facility for NuCuraçao Windparken B.V.

According to a press release from the investment banking facility, the project represents a total investment of US$74 million for a 30 MW wind farm in Curaçao. The 30 MW project is slated for commissioning in July, 2012. The power generated by the plant will represent almost 20% of Curaçao’s annual (energy) demand and will be purchased by Aqualectra.

NuCuracao Windparken BV is a joint venture between Aspiravi of Belgium and NuCapital, Incorporated.

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s participation was undertaken by a multi-geographical team located in Barbados, Curacao and Trinidad led by Gillian Charles-Gollop, Sector Specialist - Energy & Utilities, in Barbados. Other team members included Timba Engelhardt, Senior Business Analyst, in Curaçao and Heather Titus, Head of Deals Management & Control in Trinidad.

Sharaz Ahamad, Director, Origination and Capital Markets, Southern Caribbean commented “ This transaction represents a significant milestone for CIBC FirstCaribbean as a whole as it is the first wind energy project that the bank has financed in the Caribbean region and is a demonstration of our support and focus on the alternative energy options and overall energy sector. We are very proud of the team, which demonstrated superior industry knowledge, along with the required skills in credit structuring and transaction execution. We look forward to continuing to build our capacity in this area and to successfully achieve similar partnerships with other financial institutions and investors in the energy and utility sectors across the Caribbean region.

NuCapital Inc. was founded in March, 2007 by a group of US, European and Caribbean entrepreneurs with many years of collective knowledge of the (renewable) energy sector, specifically wind energy (10 MW to 300 MW) and traditional oil and gas exploration and production. The company holds controlling or majority interests in various wind energy-based operating and development companies in the Caribbean and Latin America. In the Dutch Caribbean, the company operates the 30 MW Vader Piet wind farm in Aruba and with the 30 MW NuCuraçao project in coming on-line in 2012.

Aspiravi NV develops and manages wind (onshore), biomass and biogas projects. In addition, Aspiravi NV invests in national and international renewable energy projects in all stages of development. Aspiravi NV's shareholders are 95 municipalities and Vlaamse Energieholding. The combination of state-owned shareholders, financial institutions and insurance companies gives Aspiravi NV the necessary stable financial backbone to develop large renewable energy projects.

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director for the Dutch Caribbean, Pim van der Burg, noted, “by participating in this deal, we have not only showcased our expertise in energy financing but have also demonstrated our strength as a regional team working with international partners on local financing. This is an important transaction in the relatively short history of CIBC FirstCaribbean in the Curaçao domestic banking market and underlines the success we have had so far in developing this business. We look forward to continuing to work on energy and utility transactions in the Dutch Caribbean and regionally as a whole. ”

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