JM | Feb 25, 2023

EX-IM Bank launches new Jamaican solar energy business loan

/ Our Today

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General Manager, Trade and Commercial Lending Division, National Export-Import (EX-IM) of Jamaica, Winston Lawson, addressing Thursday’s (February 23) launch of the entity’s energy loan product. The launch was held at the bank’s offices in Kingston.

The National Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of Jamaica has launched its latest medium-term loan product for small- and medium-sized business operators looking to procure solar energy solutions.

Borrowers can secure between J$5 million and a maximum of $50 million at an interest rate of 7.5 per cent under EX-IM’s new Solar Energy Solutions Business Loan, which was launched on Thursday (February 23). The bank has already earmarked funds to finance up to 85 per cent of the total costs to acquire and install appropriate solar equipment.

EX-IM Bank will accept solar panels and equipment as collateral, with an applicable margin of 60 per cent on the new equipment. Winston Lawson, EX-IM Bank general manager for its trade and commercial lending division, explained that the loan is “non-revolving and a secured product [which] can go up to seven years”.

Technicians with St Elizabeth-based renewable energy company, Solar Specialist, install solar panels in Jamaica. Photo taken December 25, 2018. (Photo: Facebook @SolarspecialistJA)

Giving the details during the launch, which took place at EX-IM Bank’s Kingston headquarters, Lawson stated that businesses seeking to borrow up to J$15 million, while EX-IM Bank will accept documentation for “management accounts, along with cash flows, notes and assumptions”.

According to him, “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.”

Additionally, an energy assessment is required for loans below $40 million. Lawson explained that, “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 organizations.”

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,” Bell said.

Managing Director, National Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of Jamaica, Lisa Bell (left), provides details on the entity’s new energy loan during the launch on Thursday, (February 23). Looking on is General Manager for the bank’s Trade and Commercial Lending Division, Winston Lawson. The ceremony was held at the bank’s offices in Kingston.

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. 


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