Jinko gets $161m finance warchest

PV group JinkoSolar has announced a 1bn yuan ($161m) finance agreement with China Minsheng Banking Corp (CMBC), with a focus on growth in the Chinese distributed sector.

JinkoSolar said the bank will provide it with finance up to that sum over the next five years, with possible applications including M&A activity, bridging loans and project finance "especially for distributed PV projects".

CMBC’s first loan will be 89m yuan to back a 20MW distributed PV project on factory and office rooftops in Haining Hi-tech Park, Zhejiang Province.

JinkoSolar plans to extend the same model to three 20MW projects in Jiaxing City.

In a new research note published today, the Recharge Insight analysis service said lack of finance availability is proving a barrier to China achieving its considerable ambitions in distributed PV, with banks nervous about the viability of projects and solar companies alike.

JinkoSolar confirmed this when it welcomed today’s deal. Chairman Xiande Li said: "Distributed PV generation systems represent the future for the Chinese market, but its development over the past few years has been hampered by financing difficulties.

“We believe that this agreement represents a new era in the financing of distributed generation projects for JinkoSolar,” added Li.

“Building upon the reputation JinkoSolar carries following the co-operation with national policy bank, this agreement also demonstrates the confidence that one of China's premier commercial banks has in our project development capabilities and overall strength.”

JinkoSolar was the first of China’s big PV manufacturers to return to profit last year and was the global number five module supplier in 2013, according to rankings from analyst IHS.