India’s one of leading renewable energy developers has tapped the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to anchor its first green bond, helping the country achieve its ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a resilient recovery from COVID-19.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has subscribed to 10 percent of Continuum Green Energy Ltd.’s first green bond, which listed on the Singapore stock exchange on Feb. 10. The offering raised US$561 million and was heavily oversubscribed. Proceeds will primarily be used to refinance existing debt.
Continuum is one of the largest providers of renewable power to corporates in the commercial and industrial sectors in India, with roughly two gigawatts of wind and solar projects across the country.
The company is majority-owned by a $4 billion global infrastructure fund managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners. IFC’s investment continues a relationship that began in 2014, when IFC financed Continuum’s development of a wind farm in Madhya Pradesh.
“We are delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with IFC through our first green bond,” said Arvind Bansal, Chief Executive Officer of Continuum. “As a pioneer in the green bond market, IFC’s wealth of knowledge and successful track record as an issuer, investor and adviser will continue to help stand our company on solid ground and support India in a resilient recovery from the pandemic. This offering enables us to further diversify our sources of funding, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with global investors as we continue to build and grow our business.”
Raja Parthasarathy, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, added: “From the very beginning, Continuum has chosen to focus on operational excellence and profitability over scale and simultaneously strived to set the industry standard for its ESG practices. IFC’s anchor support for the company’s inaugural green bond issue validates the company’s strategy, and we are delighted to have yet another opportunity to deepen our institutional partnership.”
India’s power sector is one of the largest in the world. Despite major progress made over the last few years, the country’s per capita electricity consumption is still less than a third of the global average. It is critical to increase capacity and move to a more sustainable energy mix given high levels of pollution. Fiscal deficits around the world due to the pandemic mean governments cannot finance infrastructure projects alone, making private sector participation critical to achieving a sustainable economic recovery. The demand for renewable energy from corporate buyers is also expected to increase significantly over the next decade, particularly as companies publicly set goals for sustainability and clean energy.
“We are excited to partner with Continuum for its first green bond”, said Isabel Chatterton, Regional Industry Director for Natural Resources and Infrastructure, Asia Pacific at IFC. “IFC’s investment will help Continuum maintain sustainable power generation across India and position it to deliver projects under development as the country emerges from the pandemic. It will also help support India in its ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at a time when private capital is most needed to fund infrastructure projects and support a green, resilient economic recovery.”
IFC is one of the world’s largest financiers of climate-smart projects for developing countries. Since 2005, it has invested $22.2 billion in long-term financing from its own account and mobilized an additional $15.7 billion from other investors for climate-related projects.
In India, IFC has a successful 31-year history of investing in the power sector, committing $2.3 billion to support the sector across 60 projects since 1989, of which 35 are renewable energy projects.
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