ADB Supports Renewable Energy by Investing in Indonesian Geothermal Plant

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $350 million financing package supporting the construction of the 320 megawatt Sarulla Geothermal Power Development Project in North Sumatra, Indonesia, an investment expected to unlock clean energy investments across the country, which holds 40% of the world’s geothermal resources.

The renewable energy project will provide clean, baseload power to an Indonesian grid currently dominated by aging coal and oil-fired power plants. It is expected to reduce 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year upon completion, which is estimated to be in 2018.

“Geothermal power taps into an abundant indigenous resource in Indonesia that can provide a more sustainable and secure form of clean energy while significantly lowering carbon emissions,” said Jackie B. Surtani, Senior Investment Specialist in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

Indonesia currently uses coal and oil to produce 65% of its electricity and fuel its economic growth. The country has vowed to increase the share of renewable energy in its primary energy supply from 5% in 2010 to 25% by 2025, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2020. Geothermal plants typically produce less than 10% of the greenhouse gas emitted by fossil-fuelled thermal plants.

Under the loan package, ADB will provide $250 million from its ordinary capital resources, $80 million from the ADB Clean Technology Fund (CTF), and $20 million from the Canadian Climate Fund for Private Sector in Asia (funded by the Government of Canada) under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility. The project represents the first deployment by ADB of the Canadian Climate Fund and the first disbursal of CTF funds by ADB in Indonesia.

ADB’s climate finance capabilities were instrumental in establishing the first commercially financed, utility-scale geothermal independent power plant project in Indonesia in more than a decade. The climate funds were structured as an innovative loan tranche that bridged the financing gap between banks and investors to maintain financial viability of the project.

The project sponsors are Itochu Corporation, Kyushu Electric Power Company, Ormat International, and Medco Power Indonesia.

Six commercial banks – Bank of  Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, ING Bank, Mizuho Bank, National Australia Bank, Société Générale, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation – will also co-finance the total $1.17 billion loan package, which ADB and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) acted as Lead Structuring Banks.

The project will be developed and implemented under a 30-year energy sales contract with Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the national electricity utility company, a 30-year joint operating contract with Pertamina Geothermal Energy, and a 20-year guarantee from the Ministry of Finance.