Chilean Wood Pellet Producer Obtains CIFI Loan

Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura (CIFI) has enlisted Trinity International LLP in Washington, DC and Morales & Besa in Santiago to structure a US$33 million loan to Chilean wood pellet producer Eco Indef.

The borrower relied on Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Garro LLP in Miami.

The deal closed on 31 April.

CIFI provided US$17 million through a long-term structured loan and syndicated the remainder of the financing with other lenders.

The borrower will use the funds to refinance debt and run a wood pellet mill in the province of Bio-Bio, just south of the Chilean capital. Biobío is the country’s largest pulp and wood producing region.

The facility is already operational and produces up to 375,000 tonnes of wood pellets per year from local forestry industry waste.

Manufactured wood pellets are more efficient than traditional firewood. As a result of high levels of pollution, the Chilean government is considering the official transition from the use of firewood to pellets.

Carla Chizmar, CIFI’s head of ESG matters, comments that “the real impact of the project lies in its ability to reuse waste from the forestry industry to convert it into raw material that gives rise to a less polluting and more efficient vegetable fuel.”

Headquartered in Panama City, CIFI has over 20 years of experience in infrastructure and energy financing in Latin America and the Caribbean. Founded in 2001, the financial group has participated in more than 200 investments, worth nearly US$2 billion in total. In March, it lent funds to Chilean renewables group oEnergy for the development of solar projects.

Counsel to CIFI

In-house counsel – José Salaverria, Javier Balbontin and Cira Ugas

Trinity International LLP

Partner Tom Eldert and associate Marysol Sanchez Velamoor in Washington, DC

Morales & Besa

Partners Carlos Silva, Myriam Barahona and Juan Carlos Valdivieso, and associates Santiago Martinez, Felipe Nuñez, Fernanda García, Benjamín Saenz, Regina Pirozzi, Andrea González and Bernardita Rotman in Santiago

Counsel to Eco Indef

In-house counsel – Rodrigo Veloso Castiglione and Carlos Cáceres Solórzano

Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Garro LLP

Partner Manny Rodriguez in Miami