Uruguay wind farm issuance exceeds expectations

Friday, March 20, 2015

Demand from individual investors to purchase stakes in Uruguay's 140MW Pampa wind farm exceeded by six times the US$15mn worth of certificates of participation offered on the Montevideo stock exchange (BVM).

More than 4,000 private investors offered a total of US$101mn to purchase certificates of participation issued by the trust in charge of financing the clean energy project, a government release said.

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"Not even the most optimistic would have expected an offer of more than US$100mn," said UTE president Gonzalo Casaravilla.

Individual investors were allowed to purchase certificates of participation worth US$1,000-20,000 each.

Pampa was designed by state-run power firm UTE, which will operate the wind farm and purchase its output through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) upon completion.

A consortium of German development banks will finance approximately 70% of Pampa's US$321mn investment cost, with the remainder covered by UTE (US$19mn), individual investors (US$15mn) and Uruguayan pension funds, known as AFAPs (US$63mn).

During March 23-24, AFAPS will have the chance to purchase certificates of participation of up to US$100,000 until the available US$63mn is covered.

Private investors will be given the chance to participate in UTE's next two wind farms, Valentines and Arias (70MW each), through the same modality used for Pampa. Construction on both is scheduled to begin this year.

Construction of Pampa, in Tacuarembó department, is due to last 16 months.