The International Financing Corporation is offering financing of USD136 million for ENN Solar Energy, part of the Chinese XinAo Group, in an effort to help drive down global prices for solar-generated electricity.
IFC's financing package will include a USD45 million loan on its own account, additional loans syndicated from commercial banks and other lenders of up to USD76 million, and the IFC purchase of a stake in ENN Solar Energy for up to USD15 million. The financing will support ENN Solar Energy's implementation of China's first large-scale, thin-film-based solar module manufacturing facility, aiming to drive down production costs and stimulate the development of the local solar photovoltaic market.
The thin-film solar photovoltaic module is a new technology, which exists alongside the more traditional wafers of crystalline silicon. Partly derived from the semiconductor industry, it involves depositing thin layers of amorphous silicon onto glass to convert the sun's energy into electricity.
The project is expected to produce about 60 MW of thin-film modules annually. Equipment installation is in progress, with the first commercial production scheduled for second Quarter of 2009.
IFC has a longstanding relationship with the XinAo Group, including support for investments in gas distribution, coal-to-gas processing, and solar photovoltaic manufacturing.