The new facility will provide loans and necessary technical assistance for sovereign green infrastructure projects such as sustainable transport, clean energy, and resilient water systems.
Southeast Asian governments, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and major development financiers have launched the “ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility”, a new initiative to spur more than $1 billion in green infrastructure investments across Southeast Asia.
“Through the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility, ADB will support ASEAN governments in developing green and climate-friendly infrastructure projects that will contribute to fighting climate change, improving the quality of air and water, and reducing environmental degradation across the region,” said ADB President, Takehiko Nakao.
The fund aims to catalyse private capital by mitigating risks through innovative finance structures. The facility will mobilize a total of $1 billion including $75 million from the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF), $300 million from ADB, €300 million ($336 million) from KfW, €150 million from the European Investment Bank, and €150 million from Agence Française de Développement.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Global Green Growth Institute will support knowledge sharing and capacity building on green finance. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation has expressed interest in potential financing for emerging projects.
The facility is part of a new “Green and Inclusive Infrastructure Window” under the AIF, a regional financing initiative established by ASEAN governments and ADB in 2011 and administered by ADB. Since its establishment, the AIF has committed $520 million for energy, transport, water, and urban infrastructure projects across the region.
“As ASEAN chair for 2019, Thailand’s vision for financial cooperation is sustainable and inclusive,” said Thailand’s Minister of Finance, Apisak Tantivorawong. “In light of this, the launch of the two new facilities under AIF is timely and much needed.”
Recently, the bank announced that it had inked an agreement to invest $50 million in Noida-based solar energy project developer Avaada Energy Pvt Ltd to help the company scale up rapidly.
“Supporting renewable energy capacity enhancement by way of debt and equity is a key focus area of ADB’s private sector strategy,” said ADB Principal Investment Specialist Mayank Choudhary. He said the investment in Avaada will enable the company to expand its renewable energy capacity and send positive signals to global investors to continue supporting the growth of renewable energy in India.
The funding comes at a time when the broader industry has flagged funding and financing innovations as the biggest challenge to continued growth. So much so that even the government target of 100GW solar by 2022 is at risk now, according to most industry observers and research agencies.
In November 2018, ADB entered into loan agreements worth $574 Million with the Indian government. The loan agreement was set up to provide 3 separate projects with debt for on-lending, electricity transmission, and water supply infrastructure projects.