United States

United States

Suzlon to take on wind farm in lieu of debt repayment

UNITED STATES: Suzlon may be forced to take over the operation of a 240MW wind farm in the US after the developer failed to pay back a loan made by the Indian manufacturer.

The wind farm features Suzlon S88-2.1MW turbines
The wind farm features Suzlon S88-2.1MW turbines

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Suzlon has been chasing the $228 million loan it made to now-bankrupt Edison Mission Energy for the purchase of turbines for the Big Sky project in Illinois since 2012.

With the developer looking unable to pay back the loan, Suzlon may take on the project in return for writing off the debt.

Energy firm NRG is negotiating with Edison Mission to buy some of its assets and Big Sky may be among those, but the buying price will not cover the whole of the loan.

The Indian firm has said is has now accepted that it must write the asset down to $90 million.

This would be a blow to Suzlon, which needs cash to pay off its own unwieldy debts.

The wind farm does not even have a long-term power purchase agreement with a utility, instead having to sell its power at spot prices on the regional market.

Suzlon defaulted on the buyback of $221 million in bonds in October 2012, making it the biggest default of its kind ever by an Indian company.

The turbine manufacturer issued $200 million zero-coupon convertible bonds and $20.8 million 7.5% convertible bonds, but was forced to ask for a four-month extension from bondholders. The request was refused, forcing the default.

Suzlon is also attempting to refinance a EUR 750 million loan from Deutsche Bank that is due for renewal in August.

It has been forced to shed assets and employees, including at German subsidiary Senvion (formerly Repower), as it looks to deal with its debt crisis.

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