Year: 2021

Winner: AES

Whether it’s natural gas, solar or wind power project in the Latin America and the Caribbean, these days there’s a good chance that AES Corporation will be involved.

The US-headquartered energy company concluded project financings in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Panama in the past year to boost clean energy production and infrastructure capacity and to meet its goals of having roughly 50% of its operations in the region.

The significance of its transactions over the past year, in the context of the company’s steadfast commitment to developing clean energy, single out AES as the Project Sponsor of the Year.

In Brazil, AES Tiete joined with Unipar Carbocloro, a chemical company, to form Tucano Holding for power generation. Its initial phase will include construction of wind farms to generate 155MW of clean energy in three municipalities in Brazil’s Bahia state, for an investment of $115 million. The partnership is among the first of its kind in Brazil, involving issues of corporate government, power purchase agreements, and local development initiatives. The entire project will eventually generate 582MW of energy.

While AES went with wind in Brazil, the power source of choice in Colombia was the sun: AES Chivor in Colombia secured a loan of approximately $97 million to start construction on the 59MW San Fernando solar park that will provide electricity to Colombia’s state-run oil company, Ecopetrol. The deal was the first project financing for AES in Colombia.

AES in Panama set a handful of records in 2020 with its $1.53 billion bond-loan package. It was the largest corporate bond in Central America and the largest bonds in Latin America by a privately controlled power company. It was also the largest issuance by a non-government entity in Panama’s history.

The transaction will help AES streamline its operations and capital structure in Panama, where it has 1,558MW in installed capacity. It generates 42% of Panama’s electricity.

In the Dominican Republic, AES-controlled Energía Natural Dominicana (EnaDom) obtained a $180 million loan in late 2020 of a new liquid natural gas (LNG) storage tank at its existing energy complex. AES won the award for Infrastructure Financing of the Year for the Caribbean for the project. The new facility will increase capacity to provide cleaner fuel in the Dominican Republic, but allow it to add to its LNG re-exports to other Caribbean countries, helping the region as a whole reduce its carbon footprint.

“Latin America has played a key role [in our clean energy strategy],” says Andres Gluski, chief executive of AES Corporation. “In the last five years we’ve become an investment grade company and we’ve been one of the best performers in our sector of large electric power companies. So the future looks bright. The challenge for us is to meet the really explosive demand for renewables that we’re seeing.”