March 26, 2020
Solar panels (Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B.de C.V.)
On March 26, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement for a maximum amount of US$100 million with Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B.de C.V. (IEnova), a Mexican energy company.
This transaction is JICA’s first private sector investment finance project in Mexico since the resumption of private sector investment financing. The loan is part of the facility arranged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to finance IEnova’s solar power generation portfolio and through which both IFC and the North American Development Bank (NADB) committed loans to IEnova of US$100 million each in November 2019. Not only will this loan be the first co-financing project with the NADB; it is also JICA’s first loan under the Green Loan Principles (Note 1). Furthermore, this loan is based on the Memorandum of Understanding on JICA’s cooperation with the IFC in May 2017 to facilitate co-financing for the private sector in developing countries.
At COP21 (2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference), the Mexican government set a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 22% compared to the projected CO2 emission level as of 2030. Additionally, the Energy Transition Law stipulates that the government has set a target to increase the share of renewable energy to 35% by 2024 and 60% by 2050.
IEnova is one of the country’s largest private energy company, founded in 1996. In 2015, IEnova entered the business of renewable energy. As of 2019, the company boasted a renewable energy capacity of 658MW, and are planning to expand their business in the future. In the case of the Pima Solar power generation project, which is one of IEnova’s solar power generation projects, the company signed the first long-term electric supply contract between a private generator and an industrial client in Mexico. Furthermore, the company has formulated a management strategy that takes environmental and social considerations into account, is working to increase the transparency of their business, and has been included in the Sustainable Index (Note 2) of the Mexican Stock Exchange for the fifth consecutive year, the first energy infrastructure company to be included.
This project will contribute to mitigate the impact of climate change by increasing the supply of electricity, promoting renewable energy, and diversifying power sources in Mexico through support for IEnova’s photovoltaic power generation projects. It will also contribute to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) Goals 7 and 13. JICA will continue its support for climate change initiatives in the Latin American region, including Mexico, and actively promote cooperation with development financial agencies such as the IFC, thereby advancing projects that contribute to economic and social development in developing countries and regions.
(Note 1) Green Loans are loans that are limited for use in environmentally conscious projects. Against the backdrop of the expansion of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investments, the green bond market has developed rapidly as an environment-oriented bond. On the other hand, with no international guidelines in the financing sector, there had been a need for the formulation of financing rules to identify uses in the environmental field. Under these circumstances, the Loan Market Association and the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association jointly formulated the Green Loan Principles in March 2018.
(Note 2) The Sustainable Index is a stock index composed of companies listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange that are considered outstanding organizations in terms of environmental, social considerations and corporate governance. The index was launched in 2011 and currently consists of 30 companies.