Rio Energy, a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects in Brazil, formed by energy-focused global private equity firm Denham Capital, has signed financing agreements with the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) in Brazil, in the amount of BRL848 million (US$272 million), for the construction of eight wind farms in the Serra da Babilônia Complex.
Located in the municipalities of Morro do Chapéu and Várzea Nova, in the northeastern state of Bahia, the project is expected to start commercial operations in November 2018 and will consist of 95 Wobben E‐92 wind turbines, which together total 223 MW of installed capacity. It is estimated that Serra da Babilônia will generate approximately 1,400 direct jobs as well as indirect jobs in the supply chain, construction and operation phases. The financing will also support the construction of road accesses, a substation, and a transmission line as well as provide for the possibility of issuance of infrastructure debentures.
Marcos Meireles, CEO and co-founder of Rio Energy, noted:
“We are very pleased to be working together with BNDES on this important infrastructure project. The Serra da Babilônia complex will bring Rio Energy close to 500 MW in operation, a result that strengthens Brazilian wind power generation and creates social and economic development opportunities for the region.”
Scott Mackin, Partner and Co-President of Denham Capital, added:
“Rio Energy is a testament to our strategy of backing the best teams that can deliver low cost power generation in high growth economies. We are further delighted to have shared this co-investment opportunity with our existing limited partners, bringing total co-investment commitments to more than US$170 million.
In addition to Serra da Babilônia’s 223 MW now under construction, Rio Energy has two operating wind complexes, Eólicas Caetité (54 MW) in Bahia and Eólicas Itarema (207 MW) in Ceará, as well as a 2 GW portfolio of projects in the pipeline.