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Out of the Fund Box

Indian stock markets have been trading in a tight range during the past year. Between 21 July...

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US Exim Bank clears $917 million loan to R-Power's Sasan project

Washington: The US Export-Import (Exim) Bank has sanctioned $917 million (nearly Rs4,300 crore) in loan guarantee - the largest such support to any Indian company - towards equipment for Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's Rs20,000 crore power project in Madhya Pradesh, India, reports PTI.

The sanction came through at a meeting Wednesday of the board of the Exim Bank, which at one point had reservations about the loan over environmental considerations.

The US Exim bank had on 24th June held back approval to the guarantees over concerns raised by green activists that carbon-dioxide emissions from the 4,000 MW coal-fired Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh would hurt the environment.

However, it reversed the decision after assurances from the Anil Ambani group of developing green energy projects near the site of the coal-fired plant. Besides, the deal to source equipment for the project from the US was touted to save 1,000 jobs across 13 states in that country.

"The board of the Exim Bank of USA on 25th August approved project finance facilities of $917 million for 3,960 MW Sasan UMPP in India. The project with a capital outlay of $4.5 billion is being developed by Reliance Power Ltd (R-Power).

"This is the largest funding support by the Exim Bank to any Indian company," an Exim Bank statement said.

Reliance Power had sought the loan guarantee from US Exim Bank to support the sale and export by Wisconsin-based Bucyrus International of mining equipment.

The sanction for the project, whose financial closure is already over, will now go to the US Congress for approval.

Green groups had objected to the power plant in Sasan on the ground that it would emit too much carbon dioxide, harming the environment.

The Sasan project is one of India's UMPP designed to help the country to reach specific energy capacity goals by 2017.

"We are pleased that Reliance is making this commitment to renewable energy, which allows us to sustain US jobs and promote both conventional and renewable energy exports," Exim Bank president Fred Hochberg had said in a statement earlier.

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