WestLB is providing a five-year US$30mn loan to a biodiesel project in Argentina, marking the first time the market has financed renewable energy in the country, says Isaac Deutsch, executive director of the Düsseldorf-headquartered institution.

The pricing is Libor plus 250bp post construction when the loan becomes non-recourse, according to the bank.

The plant will be capable of producing 220,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 110,000 tonnes of refined soy oil annually. Vicentin, a major soybean producer in Argentina, will provide the facility with crude soybean oil. Argentina is the world’s third largest producer of soybeans, behind the US and runner-up Brazil.

Debt service will be made to WestLB directly by the offtakers, to be located in Europe and Asia. The bank is also aiming at opportunities to finance both acquisition and consolidation in the Brazilian sugar and ethanol industry, says Deutsch.