PROJECT | Staff Reporter, China

South America's largest solar farm banks on Chinese funding

The Import-Export Bank of China financed 85% of the project’s nearly $400m price tag.

South America’s largest solar farm known as Cauchari is rising with the help of funding and technology from China, according to a report by Reuters.

Local officials said they had sought help at home, the US and Europe without success. Potential lenders and partners, they said, were spooked by the project’s size and the fiscal woes of Jujuy province, one of the poorest in the country.

The Import-Export Bank of China saw it differently. The state-funded institution financed 85% of the project’s nearly $400m price tag. At 3% annual interest over 15 years, it is “cheap money” for Jujuy, a person familiar with the terms said.

The catch: the province had to purchase nearly 80% of the materials from Chinese suppliers.

“It is a way of expanding China’s growing global presence and dominant economic force, and it progressively reorients the world from the U.S. and European-centric view of the last fifty years,” said Tim Buckley, director for the U.S-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Read the full report here.

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