Actis closes on $290m Honduran wind project

The Cerre de Hula wind energy plant in Honduras should be operational in 2012 and is expected to generate 6% of the country’s power.

Private equity firm Actis, through subsidiary Globeleq, has reached financial close on a wind energy plant in Honduras. 

The Cerre de Hula (CdH) plant, once developed, is expected to generate 6 percent of the country’s power, the company said in a press release. The plant is being developed by Mesoamerica Energy, a renewable energy developer from Central America, the press release said. 

The wind plant is located 17 kilometres south of the capital city of Tegucigalpa and will consist of 51 wind turbines of 2 megawatts each taking the total capacity of the plant to 102 megawatts.

The company has already received approval from the government to proceed with the construction and the plant is expected to become operational in early 2012. 

Honduran
wind power

While Actis did not disclose financing details on the transaction, reports suggest that the total cost of the wind farm project is $290 million, with a 70:30 percent debt-to-equity ratio. Reports also suggest that the US Export-Import Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration are likely to provide $220 million in debt to support the project.

The plant is expected to supply the generated power to Honduran national utility company Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the government, according to the press release.

Torbjorn Caesar, co-head of infrastructure at Actis, said in a statement: “Cerro de Hula will be the first wind plant in Honduras and the largest in Central America. It is a particularly attractive investment, not only because Honduras has such a strong wind resource, but because of the competitive price of wind in a power sector where heavy fuel oil traditionally sets the cost of power.”

Earlier this week, Globeleq increased its stake in the Azito power plant in the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire through acquiring the shareholdings of the French energy group, EDF and ABB Equity Ventures.

Globeleq develops energy solutions in the emerging markets of Africa, the Americas and Asia. In Africa it owns and operates Songas, a 190-megawatt gas-fired independent power project (IPP) in Tanzania, and has an interest in Tsavo, a 74-megawatt heavy fuel oil-fired IPP in Kenya. 

Actis invests in Asia, Africa and Latin America and has $4.7 billion in funds under management. It closed its $752 million Actis Infrastructure 2 fund in 2009.