15 January 2015
Clifford Chance advises Essel-Clean Solu Hydropower on largest private sector energy project in Nepal
Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised Essel-Clean Solu Hydropower Private Limited on the $142.5 million financing of a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant with a total installed capacity of 82 MW located in Solukhumbu District in the Eastern Development Region in Nepal (the Lower Solu Project). The Lower Solu Project is the largest private sector energy project and the first private financing in Nepal undertaken by both international and domestic lenders.
Dutch development bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) led the bank consortium, which includes DEG-Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, The OPEC Fund for International Development, GuarantCo, Prime Commercial Bank Limited, Nepal SBI Bank Limited, Jalvidhyut Lagani Tatha Bikas Company Limited, Prabhu Bank Limited and Siddhartha Bank Limited.
Bangkok partner Joseph Tisuthiwongse led on the transaction and said, "We are delighted to have worked with Essel-Clean Solu Hydropower on this strategic transaction. There continues to be a large number of hydropower projects in South Asia as economic and demographic growth requires greater, more reliable and sustainable sources of clean energy in the region. This landmark project will not only lead to the generation of greater power in Nepal but may well constitute a precedent for future transactions."
Joseph was assisted by partner Matthew Buchanan, counsel Anton Trixl, senior associates Kamil Gérard Ahmed and Danielle Brown.
Construction on the Lower Solu Project is expected to commence in March 2015.
Essel-Clean Solu Hydropower is part of Essel Group's infrastructure business. Essel Group is a leading Indian conglomerate with over 8,000 employees and a diverse portfolio of assets. It is involved in infrastructure development, media, entertainment, packaging, education, precious metals and technology.