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Announcement:

Moody's assigns Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 to Naranjal/Litoral Uruguay Issuer 1 and 2's senior secured and subordinated notes

05 Jun 2018

Initial GBA assigned to an Atlas Renewable Energy sponsored project

New York, June 05, 2018 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned a Green Bond Assessment (GBA) of GB1 (Excellent) to Naranjal/Litoral Uruguay Issuer 1's proposed $93 million senior secured notes due 2042 and to Naranjal/Litoral Uruguay Issuer 2's proposed $10.5 million subordinated notes due 2033. Net proceeds from the senior secured and subordinated notes will ultimately be used to refinance two solar projects located in Uruguay (Baa2 stable) that are sponsored by Atlas Renewable Energy, a Latin American renewable energy company. The transaction is scheduled to close during June 2018.

"The refinancing transaction is supported by a project finance structure and suite of related documents that effectively serve as the organization for the green bond issuance process," lead green bond analyst Matthew Kuchtyak said. "These documents form the basis of all critical aspects of the transaction, including use of proceeds, management of proceeds and reporting and disclosure requirements."

ASSESSMENT RATIONALE

Net proceeds from the senior secured and subordinated notes will be ultimately used to refinance two solar plants, El Naranjal and Del Litoral, which are consistent with the taxonomy outlined under the Green Bond Principles. El Naranjal and Del Litoral are two operating utility-scale solar photovoltaic plants, which started operations in June 2017 and September 2017, respectively. Both plants are located in Salto, Uruguay. El Naranjal's generation capacity is 58.8 MWp / 50MW, while Del Litoral's capacity is 17.0MWp / 16MW.

Given the project finance nature of the transaction and the issuers being special purpose entities created solely to issue the notes, there is no formal green bond framework. This is partially mitigated, however, by a suite of documents governing the project financing.

This suite of documents outlines the permitted use of proceeds, which is solely restricted to the refinancing of the two solar plants. The documents also outline the creation of funds for the senior secured and subordinated notes, effectively creating a ring-fencing mechanism for the proceeds. Finally, the documents outline a series of affirmative and negative covenants that ensure compliance with environmental and social best practices, regulations and reporting requirements. Taken together, these stipulations effectively mirror the presence of a green bond framework that would provide guidance on project selection and use of proceeds, management of proceeds, and reporting and disclosure.

As a full refinancing, there is little interim management of proceeds necessary, providing clarity on the use of note proceeds. However, proceeds have very strict guidelines pursuant to the project finance loan documentation. For example, the legal documents stipulate that only project bond accounts can be created, thus there is no comingling of funds at the corporate/sponsor level, effectively serving as a form of funds tracking and ring-fencing. For any flow of funds or distributions, proceeds follow set guidelines and are administered by an administrative agent, also serving as a form of audit for proceeds management.

We anticipate that disclosures will be provided at least annually over the life of the notes, covering the actual generation of the two solar projects and the corresponding environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions avoided. The borrowers, Colidim S.A. and Jolipark S.A., will be responsible for reporting this information, which will be disclosed publicly. The calculation of CO2 emissions avoided will be compared to a baseline emissions factor for Uruguay that can change over time as the country's grid composition changes. The anticipated reporting is robust given that it provides granular generation from both the El Naranjal and Del Litoral plants and their individual estimated environmental impacts.

The approximately $93 million Senior B Notes (senior secured notes due 2042) and the approximately $10.5 million Subordinated B Notes (subordinated notes due 2033) are being issued by Naranjal/Litoral Uruguay Issuer 1 and Naranjal/Litoral Uruguay Issuer 2 (the issuers), respectively. The issuers were established solely for the purpose of (i) issuing the Senior B Notes and Subordinated B Notes and (ii) using 100% of the proceeds thereof to fund the Senior B Loan Participation and to fund the Subordinated B Loan Participation, per the participation agreement with the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest, the lender of record). The proceeds will be provided by IDB Invest to Colidim S.A. and Jolipark S.A. (the borrowers).

The project sponsor is Atlas Renewable Energy Spain, S.L.U., (Atlas or Atlas Renewable Energy) a Latin-American renewable power generation company founded in 2017 through the acquisition of SunEdison Latin American assets and team by Actis LLP (Actis), a private equity fund manager that invests (through the various funds it manages) exclusively in the world's growth markets and is a leading investor across Latin America and other emerging markets. Atlas is one of the first platforms in Actis Energy 4 and has a current portfolio of some 800MWp, considering projects in operation, under construction and contracted. Atlas is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, with other regional offices.

The principal methodology used in this analysis was Green Bonds Assessment (GBA) published in March 2016. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Matthew Kuchtyak
Analyst
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Jim Hempstead
MD - Utilities
Infrastructure Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
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