Costa Rica: USD 150m: First Green Bond Certified for Hydropower Criteria under the Climate Bond Standard
The proceeds will be used to refinance the construction of the Reventazón hydroelectric plant
SAN JOSE: LONDON 12/23/21: 12PM CST: the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) obtained the first Certification according to the Hydroelectric Criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard. The $150 million bond will be used to refinance debt acquired for the construction of the Reventazón hydroelectric plant; a global benchmark for sustainable infrastructure, which was built between 2010 and 2016. At the time of construction, the Reventazón plant was financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) , the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Use of proceeds from the ICE Green Bond will refinance nominated assets that meet the hydropower criteria. Pacific Business Sustainable Development (PCS) verified the nominated assets and their compliance with the hydroelectric criteria and the climate bond standard.
The Hydroelectric Criteria are a selection of investments in sustainable hydroelectric projects. Certification for hydroelectricity has been officially available to issuers of green debt products in all markets since March 2020. The criteria were developed through a Technical Working Group (TWG) process including representatives from WWF, AGWA, IIED, IUCN, IHA and Others were reviewed by an Industry Working Group (IWG) and went through a public comment process in 2019-2020.
Reventazón provides clean energy to approximately 525,000 homes, which represents approximately 12% of Costa Rica’s population. It operates all year round with an average annual production of 1,465 Gigawatt hours per year (GWh/year). It has four “Francis-type” turbines of 73 megawatts (MW) each and an ecological compensation plant that generates 13.5 MW.
The hydroelectric project received the Blue Planet Prize, awarded by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) in 2019. The sustainability assessment protocol was granted by the IHA, during the construction phase of the hydroelectric project of Reventazón, earning a rating of “proven best practices” in five of these criteria: consultations and communication; resettlement; public health; biodiversity and invasive species; and waste, air quality and noise.
Juan Carlos Pacheco, Chief Financial Officer, Costarricense Institute of Electricity (ICE):
“Since its birth, ICE has implemented sustainability and best environmental and social practices in its management. The CBI certification was the ultimate award for a state-of-the-art hydropower plant, in terms of ESG performance. of this green bond, our institution is also a pioneer in the local financial market and sets an example for other participants to support infrastructure development using sustainable instruments, and with the support of the IDB as a long-standing strategic partner , at the same time supporting the country’s goals of decarbonizing the economy.
Juan Ketterer, Head of Connectivity Division, Markets and Finance Division, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB):
“The IDB is committed to supporting the growth of the green bond market in Latin America and the Caribbean. For this market to succeed, it is crucial to assure investors that green bonds in our region meet international standards and follow best practices in revenue management, transparency and impact measurement. This certification accomplishes exactly that for Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) bonds. This will allow ICE to increase financial flows and help them contribute to the goals set by the Government of Costa Rica towards a low carbon economy.
Oscar Jasaui, President, PCR Group
“PCS has achieved another benchmark as a regional verifier with the world’s first certified Hydro. We are seeing more and more hydroelectric power producers opting for the CBI seal because Latin America is an exceptional player in the natural electricity generation industry. We congratulate ICE for meeting the CBI criteria and the IDB for boosting sustainable finance in Latin America! »
Eddie Rich, CEO of the International Hydropower Association
“Congratulations to ICE for the Reventazón hydropower plant, which becomes the first CBI-certified climate bond for hydropower awarded to sustainable hydropower! These demanding hydropower criteria for environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and carbon emissions carbon are aligned with the new Hydropower sustainability standard. The recent San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower, adopted by hundreds of hydropower stakeholders last month, states that “In the future, the only acceptable hydropower is sustainable hydropower.” Projects like Reventazón show the way.
Leisa Souza, Head of Latam, Climate Bonds Initiative:
“We were delighted to see the first hydropower certification coming from Costa Rica and with the assurance of a local verifier. This demonstrates the importance of this financing alternative in local markets. We congratulate ICE, IDB and PCS for this pioneering transaction in a very complex area. The hydropower criteria was launched in March 2021 and we expect to see more certified emissions from Latin America. With ICE, we have a successful example to share with the Marlet.
About ICE: The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad is the government-run electricity and telecommunications service provider in Costa Rica. Together with the Radiographic Costarricense SA and the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz they form the ICE Group. For more information, please visit https://www.grupoice.com/wps/portal/ICE/Inicio
About the IDB: The Inter-American Development Bank is dedicated to improving lives. Founded in 1959, the IDB is a major source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. For more information, visit https://www.iadb.org/en.
About PC: Pacific Corporate Sustainability (PCS) is the subsidiary of the Pacific Credit Rating Group (PCR) whose objective is to provide advice on sustainable finance, corporate sustainability and corporate governance. He is authorized to provide second party opinions and verification on behalf of our PCR group throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. https://www.pcslatam.com/
About the Climate Bonds Initiative: The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused non-profit organization that promotes large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy. It undertakes advocacy and outreach to inform and stimulate green bond markets, provides policy modeling and government advice, international development programs, market data and analysis, and administers the standards and certification system. . For more information, visit www.climatebonds.net.
About the Climate Bonds Standard: It is a global, cross-industry science-based standard overseen by the Climate Bonds Standards Board that allows investors and intermediaries to easily assess the climate credentials and environmental integrity of bonds and other green debt products. Launched in 2011, with periodic updates, the Climate Bonds Standard is the most detailed and climate-aligned investment criteria available on the market and provides guidance to issuers, investors, governments and regulators.
The V3.0 standard and supporting documentation are available here.
Hydro Criteria Development Process: Climate Bonds Initiative convened a Technical Working Group (TWG) in June 2016 and an Industry Working Group (IWG) in July 2017 to develop criteria for this sector. Public consultation was opened in June 2019. Full members of the TWG and IWG can be found here and are listed on page 3.
Resources on hydropower criteria:
Four basic documents downloadable from the Hydro Criteria Website:
About Climate Bond Certification: The Climate Bond Certification Framework has been designed to work in parallel with the normal process of issuing bonds, loans or other debt products. It has 2 phases, pre-issue or post-issue. Certification of a climate bond during the pre-issuance phase allows the issuer and underwriters to market the bond or debt product as certified. Other assurance activities in the post-issuance phase must be undertaken to maintain certification of climate bonds.
The complete climate bond database of certified emissions can be found here.
The complete directory of approved verifiers’ climate obligations can be found here.