Ashurst advises on Singapore’s government led green loan financing for country’s largest clean energy project

Global law firm Ashurst, together with its Singapore Formal Law Alliance Ashurst ADTLaw, advised DBS Bank and United Overseas Bank as mandated lead arrangers, lenders and hedging banks (and the related agency functions) on their S$86.8 million green loan financing of a portfolio of rooftop solar projects developed under the SolarNova 4 programme. 

The SolarNova programme is a whole-of-government effort led by Singapore’s Housing & Development Board and Economic Development Board to promote and aggregate demand for solar PV systems to achieve economies of scale and drive growth for Singapore’s solar industry.

SolarNova 4, the fourth phase of the SolarNova programme, is the first project in the SolarNova programme to be project financed, and is a complex project involving approximately 40 different component sub-projects, each with its own power purchase agreement, across more than 1,200 public housing blocks and 49 government sites with counterparties comprising a number of key Singapore ministries and statutory bodies such as town councils, public hospitals and others with the power produced to be used via a mix of on-site consumption and sales into the power grid at the prevailing market price; as well as a “virtual power purchase agreement” with Facebook. It will have a capacity of 70 megawatt-peak (MWp) and potentially up to 102 MWp, and is estimated to generate 96,775 megawatt-hours (MWh). This project has been described as Singapore’s largest clean energy project to date and is equivalent to powering up to 20,400 four-room apartments and potentially offsetting more than 68,583 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

The loan utilises the project developer Sunseap’s Green Financing Framework, which is aligned to the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles 2018, the Loan Market Association’s Green Loan Principles 2018, and ASEAN Green Bond Standards 2018. It is also part of Sunseap’s commitment towards the sustainability goal it has set forth.

Ashurst and Ashurst ADTLaw were involved in the review, negotiation and finalisation of the relevant project documents, the conduct of due diligence, and the drafting, negotiation and finalisation of the financing documents.

The Ashurst and Ashurst ADTLaw team was led by partner Alfred Ng and global co-head of international projects Richard Guit, and supported by partners Michelle Phang and Jean Woo and associates Daphane Soh, Daniel Yip and Sophie Crichton.

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