Brazilian development bank BNDES has partnered with Germany’s KfW Ipex-Bank in a R$1.76bn (US$471mn) financing of an LNG-fuelled thermoelectric plant at Açu Port, in São João da Barra, Brazil.

The financing makes up 39% of the total project cost of R$4.5bn, which will be used to build a 1,338MW thermoelectric plant, an LNG import and regasification terminal, as well as a substation and a transmission line to connect the plant to the national grid. This project is part of the largest natural gas thermoelectric complex in Latin America. It is being built by Gás Natural Açu (GNA), a joint venture formed by Brazilian firm Prumo Logística, energy major BP and German conglomerate Siemens.

The deal was structured as a corporate financing, with BNDES providing the credit and KfW responsible for guaranteeing the operation, with support from German export credit agency Euler Hermes.

Speaking at the signing of the deal, Marcos Ferrari, director of the governing board and infrastructure for BNDES, said: “This is the first LNG thermoelectric plant the bank is financing, in an unprecedented partnership with KfW, in which KfW guarantees the operation until the end of the contract. It is also an innovative model because both BNDES and KfW are development banks and we have been working hard for this perfect arrangement.”

The bank says that the innovative deal structure could act as a blueprint for future infrastructure project finance that it carries out.

“More than an operation, what we are building here is a business model that can be used in other operations,” said Dyogo Oliveira, president of BNDES.

The power generation potential of the thermoelectric power plant will be enough to supply approximately 3 million households in a region of high electricity demand in Brazil. Located close to the Campos, Santos and Espírito Santo basins, the project currently includes the implementation of two natural gas-fired thermoelectric plants, which together will reach 3 GW of installed capacity, as well as an LNG regasification terminal with an output of 21 million m3 per day.