Would you like to take out cover for the credit risk you will be running on a special purpose company or a greenfield project? A project finance risk assessment could make this possible.
We do not underwrite credit insurance exclusively for existing companies. We may also be able to insure transactions where the borrower has no track record and we do not have recourse to guarantees from existing companies or governments. Credit insurance may also be an option for transactions where the proposed investment is out of proportion to the borrower’s financial position. In such cases we would conduct a project finance risk assessment, which would include an evaluation of the expected cash flow (and thus the repayment capacity of the borrower).
Checklist for Initial Contact
For project finance transactions we strongly recommend that you contact us at the earliest possible stage in order that the most important aspects of the project can be discussed with all parties involved. This avoids unnecessary delays in the financing procedure and/or term sheet renegotiations. When you contact us for the first time it helps us a lot in case your provide us with the following information:
- a description of the project and potential stakeholders (shareholders, banks, contractors, suppliers, operators and buyers)
- the potential Dutch and non-Dutch contractors and suppliers (names and estimated contract values)
- a draft financial plan (draft statement of sources and uses of funds and a list of other potential export credit insurers)
- a summary of the envisaged financing terms and conditions and collateral.
- the next steps envisaged and the timeline
Letter of Interest
If required, we can issue a non-binding “Letter of Interest” early on in the project planning stage. In this letter Atradius acknowledges its interest in insuring the project, subject to the outcome of the project risk evaluation. Contractors and/or banks can include this letter in their bidding documents. A Letter of Interest can moreover be used to approach potential investors and/or banks for funding.
Application procedure and assessment
For a bank financing a project finance transaction, our Buyer Credit Insurance Policy provides protection against borrower default. As soon as we have received an application for a Buyer Credit Insurance Policy we can start the risk assessment process. This consists of three steps:
- Business case analysis: We will validate the assumptions underlying the revenue and operating cost estimates presented for the project. We will draw up what we consider to be a realistic cash flow projection. (We develop what is known as the base scenario.)
- Sensitivity analysis: We - if necessary with the help of independent external experts - will identify the main risks associated with the project. We will incorporate them into a financial model to evaluate their potential impact on cash flows. We will also establish how much debt the project can service; this will depend on the desired margin between available cash flow and debt-servicing obligations (expressed as a ratio known as the debt service coverage ratio).
- Term sheet and project agreement analysis: We will investigate how the risks identified in step 2 can be mitigated as much as possible. We will then determine the repayment conditions and security required for the financing; these must be included in the term sheet. We will often engage an independent legal advisor for this.
- We will carry out these three steps simultaneously inasmuch as possible.
Checklist for Assessment
In order to assess your application, we will need the following:
- the application form from the financing bank
- the application form from the Dutch exporter(s)
- the business case and (possibly) the financial model
- reports - from independent experts - on (to be agreed with you) market risk, construction and technical risks, and the types of insurance required for the project
- the term sheet with a complete overview of the financing conditions (security, covenants, etc.)
- the project contracts (if applicable, supply contracts and off-take agreements
- the environmental and social impact assessment
If the credit committee approves the project finance assessment, Atradius will issue a Buyer Credit Insurance Policy. For an overview of the terms and conditions of this policy, please click on the listed documents. If at the time of approval, all the conditions for issuing a policy have not yet been met (including the conditions pertaining to the first drawdown under the loan), Atradius will issue a promise of cover instead of a policy.
Atradius believes that it is important for banks which have taken out credit insurance for project finance to retain a sufficient stake in the transaction. The covered percentage for commercial risks related to project finance transactions is therefore lower than for regular transactions. This is 70-90%, meaning that the insured must bear 10-30% of the risk. The size of risk sharing depends partly on the project risks and on how much Atradius depends on third parties (including the bank) for the risk assessment.
If the insured banks participate in a commercial tranche for the project as well as in the tranche covered by Atradius, we consider their share of the commercial tranche as being the equivalent of an insured’s own risk. We can therefore offer up to 100% cover for the tranche we are to insure.
The Dutch state has ambitions with regards to ‘clean’ trade. It is therefore important that we want to make certain that transactions with eca cover are free of bribery. We will ask you to sign an anti-bribery declaration at the moment that we are going to issue a policy to you. Under the downloads you can read an example of such a declaration.
Atradius has extensive experience in the field of project finance. For account of the Dutch State, we have insured various projects in diverse sectors - oil and gas, infrastructure, shipbuilding and (renewable) energy - in different parts of the world. We co-operated with international bank consortia and other export credit insurers for many of these transactions.
If you are interested in our project finance risk assessment or have any questions, we would be pleased to provide further information.
Please contact us for our brochure summarising what is involved in setting up project finance with Atradius. You can reach us at +31 (0)20 553 2109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.