12 July 2017
Clifford Chance Advises on Landmark Thermal Energy Project Financing in Argentina
In the first international project finance loan to close in Argentina in more than a decade, leading international law firm Clifford Chance advised Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse Securities and Export Development Canada as lenders in the structuring of a project financing for two gas-fired power projects being developed by Argentina's state-run energy company YPF Energía Eléctrica and GE Energy Financial Services.
The proceeds will be used to finance the construction of the "Tucumán" and "Loma Campana II" thermal power plants located in the provinces of Neuquén and Tucumán, which are being developed by GE and YPF as part of Argentina's recent "fast power" auction of thermal projects.
"Clifford Chance is honored to be at the forefront of Argentina's return to the international project finance market," said Kate McCarthy, a partner in the Firm's Americas Energy & Infrastructure Group.
These projects are part of Argentina's immediate plan to address a critical gap with respect to the country's energy needs versus current production capacity. In 2016, Argentina also launched its successful renewable energy program, RenovAR, to increase the renewable share of its energy matrix to 8 percent by December 2017 and, ultimately, 20 percent by 2025. The two initial auctions, RenovAR 1.0 and 1.5, have so far attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, and the third auction, RenovAR 2.0, is expected to be announced very soon.
"Clifford Chance was the only international law firm to provide early-stage counsel to the Argentine government on the setting up of its renewables program. Since RenovAR was announced, we have been working with a number of financiers and sponsors on the financing of multiple projects. We are very bullish on Argentina and expect to have a very significant participation as the country continues to make progress in the development of broad-scale infrastructure programs," said Ms. McCarthy.
The Firm's Washington, DC-based team on the Tucumán and Loma Campana II financing was led by Ms. McCarthy, along with Laura Marriott, Patricio Abal, Lauran Smith, Julián Hurtado and Greg Jehle.