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IFC and Santander Bank are partnering to boost the commercialisation of solar PV panels and support for small businesses.

IFC is providing the total $100 million financing to Santander Brazil as part of its programme to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Half of the financing will be devoted to the commercialisation of photovoltaic panels. The remainder is aimed to boost access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of which at least 20% will be directed to SMEs owned by women.

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“Financing green credit lines at this moment is essential to support the transition to a cleaner economy, with focus on small businesses and entrepreneurs,” says Franco Fasoli, director of Companies, Governments & Institutions at Santander Brasil.

“This new partnership with IFC allows us to expand our operations on these important fronts of action.”

Santander Brasil is a pioneer in financing solar power generation projects, from large solar plants to the sale of photovoltaic panels to small farmers. The Bank has provided financing for 285 wind farms, which account for 30% of the installed capacity of wind energy in Brazil.

Santander Brasil also claims to be one of the leaders in providing financing to SMEs in Brazil.

Prior to this financing, IFC’s most recent support for Brazil’s energy sector was a $288 million, 15-year loan to UTE GNA I Geração de Energia for the development, construction and operation of an integrated liquefied natural gas to power facility in Porto de Açu in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

The project, expected to start commercial operation in 2021, includes an integrated 1.3GW combined cycle gas turbine based-fired power plant, which will be linked to the national grid. The initiative is aimed to support the diversification of Brazil’s energy matrix and improve the resilience and reliability of the electrical system.

GNA I also is envisaged as a stepping stone to the first fully-integrated private natural gas hub in Brazil and one of only a few in Latin America.