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St Augustine Theory of the State

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Project finance

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Project finance is the long term financing of infrastructure and industrial projects based upon the projected cash flows of the project rather than the balance sheets of the project sponsors. Usually, a project financing structure involves a number of equity investors, known as sponsors, as well as a syndicate of banks or other lending institutions that provide loans to the operation. The loans are most commonly non-recourse loans, which are secured by the project assets and paid entirely from project cash flow, rather than from the general assets or creditworthiness of the project sponsors, a decision in part supported by financial modeling.[1] The financing is typically secured by all of the project assets, including the revenue-producing contracts. Project lenders are given a lien on all of these assets, and are able to assume control of a project if the project company has difficulties complying with the loan terms.

Generally, a special purpose entity is created for each project, thereby shielding other assets owned by a project sponsor from the detrimental effects of a project failure. As a special purpose entity, the project company has no assets other than the project. Capital contribution commitments by the owners of the project company are sometimes necessary to ensure that the project is financially sound, or to assure the lenders of the sponsors' commitment. Project finance is often more complicated than alternative financing methods. Traditionally, project financing has been most commonly used in the extractive (mining), transportation, telecommunications and energy industries. More recently, particularly in Europe, project financing principles have been applied to other types of public infrastructure under public-private partnerships (PPP) or, in the UK, Private Finance Initiative (PFI) transactions (e.g., school facilities) as well as sports and entertainment venues.

Risk identification and allocation is a key component of project finance. A project may be subject to a number of technical, environmental, economic and political risks, particularly in developing countries and emerging markets. Financial institutions and project sponsors may conclude that the risks inherent in project development and operation are unacceptable (unfinanceable). To cope with these risks, project sponsors in these industries (such as power plants or railway lines) are generally completed by a number of specialist companies operating in a contractual network with each other that allocates risk in a way that allows financing to take place. "Several long-term contracts such as construction, supply, off-take and concession agreements, along with a variety of joint-ownership structures, are used to align incentives and deter opportunistic behaviour by any party involved in the project."[2] The various patterns of implementation are sometimes referred to as "project delivery methods." The financing of these projects must also be distributed among multiple parties, so as to distribute the risk associated with the project while simultaneously ensuring profits for each party involved.

A riskier or more expensive project may require limited recourse financing secured by a surety from sponsors. A complex project finance structure may incorporate corporate finance, securitization, options (derivatives), insurance provisions or other types of collateral enhancement to mitigate unallocated risk.[2]

Project finance shares many characteristics with maritime finance and aircraft finance; however, the latter two are more specialized fields within the area of asset finance.

Contents

[hide]

* 1 History

* 2 Parties to a Project Financing

* 3 Contractual Framework

o 3.1 Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract - (EPC Contract)

o 3.2 Operation and Maintenance Agreement - (O&M Agreement)

o 3.3 Concession Deed

o 3.4 Shareholders Agreement - (SHA Agreement)

o 3.5 Off-Take Agreement

o 3.6 Supply Agreement

o 3.7 Loan Agreement

o 3.8 Intercreditor Agreement

o 3.9 Tripartite Deed

o 3.10 Common Terms Agreement

o 3.11 Terms Sheet

* 4 Basic scheme

* 5 Complicating factors

* 6 See also

* 7 References

* 8 External links

[edit] History

Limited recourse lending was used to finance maritime voyages in ancient Greece and Rome. Its use in infrastructure projects dates to the development of the Panama Canal, and was widespread in the US oil and gas industry during the early 20th century. However, project finance for high-risk infrastructure schemes originated with the development of the North Sea oil fields in the 1970s and 1980s. For such investments, newly created Special Purpose Corporations (SPCs) were created for each project, with multiple owners and complex schemes distributing insurance, loans, management, and project operations. Such projects were previously accomplished through utility or government bond issuances, or other traditional corporate finance structures.

Project financing in the developing world peaked around the time of the Asian financial crisis, but the subsequent downturn in industrializing countries was offset by growth in the OECD countries, causing worldwide project financing to peak around 2000. The need for project financing remains high throughout the world as more countries require increasing supplies of public utilities and infrastructure. In recent years, project finance schemes have become increasingly common in the Middle East, some incorporating Islamic finance.

The new project finance structures emerged primarily in response to the opportunity presented by long term power purchase contracts available from utilities and government entities. These long term revenue streams were required by rules implementing PURPA, the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978. Originally envisioned as an energy initiative designed to encourage domestic renewable resources and conservation, the Act

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