Lighting infrastructure developer HTI closes on $165M financing for Brazil project
San Juan-based High-Trend International (HTI), — a firm that develops smart city and public lighting infrastructure projects “to create smarter, safer, and more sustainable cities” — along with its Brazilian joint venture High Trend Brasil (HTB), announced the closing of $165.5 million of long-term financing to fund the completion of its Rio de Janeiro Smart City & Public Lighting Project.
The funding was executed through a financing structure with debentures being issued locally by the Brazilian project company, Smart Luz, and an offshore issuer selling 144a/Reg S Notes, the company explained.
The Notes are guaranteed by the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and received a global scale rating AA+ (Fitch) and Aa1 (Moody’s). Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as global coordinator, bookrunner and structuring agent of the notes. The Notes were deemed sustainable due to the project’s positive impacts on both environmental and social issues.
The issuance of the notes will help to finance the investments for the implementation of the largest integrated smart city project in Latin America, which includes the modernization of the more than 450,000 street lights with LED technology, the deployment of an Internet of Things (IoT) network that will remotely connect LED luminaries and more than 25,000 additional points, including cameras, wireless sensors, and free WiFi access points which will all be connected and managed in a new Operational Control Center.
After the completion of the investment, Smart Luz projects a minimum reduction of 65% in electricity consumption, which is equivalent to a reduction in the emission of CO2 of at least 100,000 t/year. In addition to the major direct impacts, the project will create the basic platform for the development of future Smart City solutions which will be crucial for Rio de Janeiro to meet its ongoing sustainability objectives.
“This Rio Smart City and Public Lighting Project will be a model for future sustainable project financings and serve as a strong example that largescale ESG-focused infrastructure projects can and will be successful,” said HTI CEO Juan Revilla.
The DFC has highlighted this project as an example of climate friendly infrastructure as world leaders meet in Glasgow for COP26 to discuss climate issues.
The project’s impact on the citizens of Rio de Janeiro extends beyond environmental benefits, with increased safety from enhanced and reliable lighting, the democratization of internet access through free Wi-Fi access points and preemptive flood detection through sensors and cameras, executives said.
“The ability to carry out a project with so many positive touchpoints for a community is rare,” said Jeff Carmichael president of HTI. “The fact that High-Trend, our partners and the entire financing team will be able to do so for a community as large and complex as the city of Rio de Janeiro is truly amazing.”