Environmental Finance's Bond Awards 2022

GSS Loan of the Year: Red River Valley Alliance

The Red River Valley Alliance (RRVA) impressed the judges through its procurement of a loan to help finance a flood prevention channel.

The RRVA is the first green finance project to be signed in the United States specifically for climate change adaptation infrastructure.

The judges said the loan was "setting a precedent in the US for funding adaptation infrastructure".

CaixaBank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and the Korean Development (KDB) Bank provided a revolving credit facility of $642.5 million, with a term of up to 6.5 years to provide working capital.

Caixabank and SMBC were the ESG advisors on the loan. The financing framework was verified by Sustainalytics.

The project also issued a $198 million private placement to MetLife, which was bought through various of its funds. And Citibank (50%), Morgan Stanley (45%) and SMBC (5%) placed $273 million in public bonds. In total, RRVA secured $1.136 million in funding.

The financing package equips the project consortium - led by Acciona (35%), Israeli company Shikun & Binui (35%) and North American Construction Group (30%) – to build and manage a flood prevention channel between Fargo (North Dakota) and Moorhead (Minnesota), which has a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants.

José Ángel Tejero, Chief Financial and Sustainability Officer of Acciona, said: "Investors have recognized the RRVA issue as a green loan with strong credentials, aligned with best practices and led by sponsors with significant international experience in the most developed ESG markets."