private sector funding
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Indian renewable energy developer Continuum has tapped the International Finance Corporation to anchor its first green bond.

IFC has subscribed to 10% of Continuum Green Energy Ltd’s first green bond which was listed on the Singapore stock exchanged on 10 February. The offering raised $561million and was heavily oversubscribed. Proceeds will primarily be used to refinance existing debt. This green bond will be useful in helping India achieve its ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a resilient recovery from COVID-19.

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Continuum is one of the largest providers of renewable power to corporates in the commercial and industrial sectors in India, with roughly two gigawatts of wind and solar projects across the country. The company is majority-owned by a $4 billion global infrastructure fund managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners. IFC’s investment continues a relationship that began in 2014, when IFC financed Continuum’s development of a wind farm in Madhya Pradesh.

Arvind Bansal, Continuum CEO:” We are delighted to continue our long-standing partnership with IFC through our first green bond.  This offering enables us to further diversify our sources of funding, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with global investors as we continue to build and grow our business.”

Raja Parthasarathy, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners managing director: FC’s anchor support for the company’s inaugural green bond issue validates the company’s strategy, and we are delighted to have yet another opportunity to deepen our institutional partnership.”

Green bond to address sustainable economic recovery

Despite major progress made over the last few years, India per capita electricity consumption is still less than a third of the global average, though it has one of the world’s largest power sectors. It is critical to increase capacity and move to a more sustainable energy mix given high levels of pollution. Fiscal deficits around the world due to the pandemic mean governments cannot finance infrastructure projects alone, making private sector participation critical to achieving a sustainable economic recovery. The demand for renewable energy from corporate buyers is also expected to increase significantly over the next decade, particularly as companies publicly set goals for sustainability and clean energy.

Isabel Chatterton, regional industry director for natural resources and infrastructure, Asia Pacific at IFC: “IFC’s investment will help Continuum maintain sustainable power generation across India and position it to deliver projects under development as the country emerges from the pandemic. It will also help support India in its ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at a time when private capital is most needed to fund infrastructure projects and support a green, resilient economic recovery.”