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Sunday, Oct 27, 2002

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Rabo India launches `green' division

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Oct. 26

RABO India Finance Private Ltd has announced the setting up of a new `Sustainability and social innovation' division to provide structured financial products and services for eco-friendly and sustainable development projects.

The division will cater to commercially viable `green' ventures, including climate products (trading of carbon credits), renewable energy and co-generation projects based on wind power and baggase, municipal solid waste processing, wastewater treatment and desalination plants, etc.

"We believe that sustainable development is serious business and it is possible to identify commercially viable projects in this sector'', Mr Rana Kapoor, Managing Director of Rabo India Finance, which is a subsidiary of Rabobank Netherlands, told presspersons here.

Mr Bart Jan Krouwel, who is the worldwide head of Rabobank Nederland's `Sustainability and social innovation' division, said that the Rabobank Group currently has a portfolio of green loans amounting to around $ 1 billion and has funded over 1,000 projects so far.

"We have significant expertise and competence to develop financial solutions for green projects, including providing project advisory and syndication services and assisting developers in achieving timely financial closure. We also have an active carbon credit desk, specialising in banking and trading of carbon credits'', he added.

Rabo India was already involved in funding around 20 sustainable development projects in the country, which have either been completed or are ongoing projects.

"The projects for which we have already completed our mandates include an 18 MW wind energy project in Satara, Maharashtra (promoted by Mr Anil Nanda of the Escorts Group) and a 40 MW baggase-based cogeneration project in Tamil Nadu set up by Thiru Arooran Sugars. We have so far committed around Rs 65 crore towards cogeneration and Rs 35 crore for wind enrgy generation projects'', he said.

Other ongoing projects included a 14 MW bio-mass venture involving processing of paddy husk in Andhra Pradesh and a 5 MW municipal waste project in Lucknow, which would also generate organic fertiliser.

"The setting up of a specialised division to cater to these projects will help us to further consolidate in this sector, which we see to form at least 15 per cent of our total Indian portfolio in the next 2-3 years'', Mr Kapoor said.

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