Italian utility group Enel has secured a US$1bn line of credit from the Bank of China, backed by Sinosure, the Chinese state export credit insurer.
The five-year facility is aimed at financing projects involving Chinese companies around the world and has an option to be extended upon completion.
It marks the continued progression of the utility company – Italy’s largest – in China, where it has been active for 12 years.
In the last few years, it has inked numerous agreements in an effort to enlarge its Chinese footprint. In 2014, it signed agreements with the Bank of China, China National Nuclear and the State Grid Corporation of China. In 2012, it entered into deals with the Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute and the Chinese Ministry for Science and Technology to explore areas of green collaboration.
The latest transaction is sure to result in Enel’s participation in China’s booming green and renewable energy and cleantech sectors. Late last year, the utility bought Enel Green Power (EGP), a former subsidiary, in a €3.1bn deal. EGP had been spun off five years previously and listed on the stock market independently.
The move was explained as a means for Enel to compete globally on an increasingly large and competitive renewable energy sector. With green energy and energy-efficient construction expected to be cornerstones of Chinese policy for the next five years, there will undoubtedly be opportunities in the country for Enel.
Meanwhile, in 2015, Sinosure signed a reinsurance agreement with Sace, the Italian export credit agency, aimed at facilitating projects involving companies from both countries.