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Epsa Issues First Green Bond by Real Sector in Colombia with Support from IFC and FDN


In Bogotá:
Darcy Antonin Crowe
Teléfono: +57 3136449
E-mail: dcrowe@ifc.org

Bogota, Colombia, July 5 2018 -  Epsa, an affiliate of Celsia, will issue up to COP$420 billion through a green bond program, which makes it the first company in the real sector in Colombia to use this fixed-income financial instrument exclusively for environmental projects or projects related to climate change. The program is backed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN).

Green bonds are an investment tool to leverage the financing of projects that help reduce the negative consequences of climate change —such as renewable energy, sustainable construction, cleaner production and energy efficiency, among others.  

Epsa's green bonds are aligned with ICMA’s Green Bond Principles, which are international guidelines that recommend transparency and disclosure and promote integrity in the development of the bond market. The bonds have also been certified with the Climate Bonds Standard & Certification Scheme, which ensures that the projects where the resources will be allocated contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions and the mitigation of climate change.

In the case of solar farms, these are energy generation projects with non-conventional renewable sources that will prevent the emission of 3.44 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere during 30 years of useful life, which is equivalent to planting 570 million trees or reforesting close to 512,000 hectares.

"This issuance of green bonds is part of our efforts to promote renewable energies in the country and to contribute to a low-emission economic development model. We are very grateful for the support of the FDN and IFC, who are very pleased with everything we are doing as we are also very pleased in having them as partners. In addition to aligning ourselves with the Green Bond Principles of ICMA, it is also very satisfying to meet the demanding requirements of the Climate Bond Initiative, for which our sustainability practices, impact objectives and socio-environmental, health and safety at work processes, relations with various stakeholders, and corporate governance issues, among others, were reviewed", stated Ricardo Sierra, CEO of Celsia. He also added that these resources are exclusively intended to finance the development of solar farms in Colombia and that they will be disbursed as their execution begins.

After the public offering process, and due diligence on behalf of the investors, IFC and Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional (FDN), a Colombian development bank specialized in financing and structuring projects of infrastructure, gave a vote of confidence to the company and to the renewable projects that are being developed. Both entities will acquire the green bonds in equal parts for a total quota of up to $420 billion Colombian pesos, and they will be placed in one or several tranches, each for a minimum investment of $50 billion Colombian pesos, for which Epsa has a term of up to three years starting from the approval of the financial regulator. The maturity of the bonds is up to 12 years, from their placement.

Gabriel Goldschmidt, IFC's Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, pointed out: "This issuance by Epsa is very important for Colombia as it uses an innovative financial instrument such as green bonds, that provides an example that other companies in the real sector can replicate. At same time, it also helps to promote the diversification of the country's energy matrix as the resources will support the development of non-conventional renewable energy projects. This green bond issuance demonstrates that Epsa is committed to the fight against the factors that generate climate change and that it is a pioneer in finding alternatives to help the country mitigate climate change. By supporting this green bond issuance program, at IFC we are also supporting the development of the local capital market by fostering new sources of financing for Colombian companies."  

Clemente del Valle, FDN's Chairman said: "Through our participation in the issuance of the green bonds of Epsa, we are supporting the development of non-conventional renewable energy projects, allowing the diversification and strengthening of the Colombian energy matrix. This action is part of our environmental protection policy and the promotion of the development of non-conventional renewable energies to reduce the impacts that climate can have on the supply of energy." He also added that "Epsa is a company with high credit quality, which is at the forefront in the development of large-scale solar projects and distributed generation, which contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions. This is another contribution of the FDN to the strengthening of Colombia's infrastructure and its sustainable development."

About IFC
IFC —a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group— is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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