Monday, August 13, 2012

(BN) Canadian Solar Gets C$93 Million Loan From China to Fund Growth

Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ), the world's third-largest maker of solar panels, got a C$93 million ($93.8 million) loan from state-owned China Development Bank Corp. as it expands in North America.

The five-year facility will be used to part-finance the recent acquisition of a stake in 16 photovoltaic projects in Ontario from developer SkyPower Ltd., Canadian Solar said today in a statement. The loan is its first from the bank, company data show.

Canadian Solar's expansion into project development enables it to increase control over sales of its products as panel prices weaken. It also gives the company access to Ontario's feed-in tariff program, which offers premium rates for electricity generated from renewable sources.

Canadian Solar, which is based in the province and has production facilities in China, had about $88 million in long- term debt from Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (601288), Bank of Communications Co. and Export-Import Bank of China at the end of last year, according to the company's latest results.

China Development Bank has offered $47.3 billion since 2010 to support the country's wind and solar manufacturers, a credit line that's only been partially tapped, according to London- based researcher Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Under Canadian Solar's April accord with SkyPower, it agreed to pay $187 million for a majority interest in 190 to 200 megawatts of permitted projects. Its largest global competitors are Suntech Power Holdings Co. and First Solar Inc. (FSLR).

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