US Exim signs Caribbean deal
Energy solutions company Williams Industry has won a 10-year US$6.4mn loan from PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, US, to finance a solar-power system in Barbados.
US Export-Import Bank (US Exim) will provide a guarantee for the full amount of the loan. The bank was unable to reveal the pricing details of the loan when contacted by GTR, although a spokesperson at the bank did confirm that the loan achieved an attractive rate.
Williams Industry will use the loan proceeds to import solar modules to build its solar system, which will provide 1.4MW of on-site power to 10 sites within its portfolio. The modules will be exported from West Coast-based SolarWorld Americas.
This project, one of the largest financings in the Caribbean, includes engineering services and solar-system racking exported from two American companies.
“Without the assistance of US Exim, Williams Industries through its subsidiary Williams evergreen would not have been able to build 1.4MW of solar capacity over the last six months,” says Williams Industries chairman Ralph Williams.
“By combining SolarWorld’s high-quality solar equipment with Williams’ knowledge of the Caribbean electrical sector, we can provide significant oil savings to the island and lower payments for Williams,” Williams adds.
The immediate savings in power costs is expected to furnish a hedge against future increases in electricity prices.
Williams Industries, established in 1972, controls 13 wholly-owned and 17 joint venture companies in Barbados, St Lucia and other Caribbean islands.