The Full Story
Small and medium-sized business operators looking to procure solar energy solutions can acquire a medium-term loan from the National Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of Jamaica to finance this undertaking.
Borrowers can secure between a minimum of $5 million to a maximum $50 million at an interest rate of 7.5 per cent.
The bank has already earmarked funds to finance up to 85 per cent of the total costs to acquire and instal appropriate solar equipment.
The entity will accept solar panels and equipment as collateral, with an applicable margin of 60 per cent on the new equipment.
According to General Manager for the bank’s Trade and Commercial Lending Division, Winston Lawson, the loan is “non-revolving and a secured product [which] can go up to seven years”.
He provided the details during the loan product’s launch, at the bank’s offices in Kingston on Thursday (February 23).
Mr. Lawson said for businesses seeking to borrow up to $15 million, EX-IM Bank will accept documentation for “management accounts, along with cash flows, notes and assumptions”.
“If [the loan] exceeds $15 million, then we will require your audited statements along with the cash flows. More specifically, loans in excess of $40 million [will require] an energy audit from a registered energy auditor,” he further pointed out.
Additionally, an energy assessment is required for loans below $40 million.
“Energy assessments may come from registered engineers [or] accredited organisations for energy audits or assessments. The energy audit should come from a certified energy auditor, registered engineers [and] accredited organisations,” Mr. Lawson explained.
Meanwhile, EX-IM Bank Managing Director, Lisa Bell, emphasised that the loan offers businesses an opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as global energy costs continue to fluctuate.
“EX-IM Bank has sought to create a new product that we think will help to respond to the needs of some of our clients and, in fact, improve their own competitiveness. The cost of electricity continues to rise, and we have heard the cry of our clients in the context of how much this contributes to their expenses and those line items,” she said.
The EX-IM Bank is a trade and financing institution and the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
It aims to assist in the growth of the productive sector and contribute to wider national economic development.