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Project finance is a method of raising long-term debt financing for major projects through ‘financial engineering,’ based on lending against the cash flow generated by the project alone; it depends on a detailed evaluation of a project’s construction, operating and revenue risks, and their allocation between investors, lenders, and other parties through contractual and other arrangements. In 2012, at least $375 billion of investments in projects around the world were financed or refinanced using project-finance techniques. This book is intended to provide a guide to the principles of project finance and to the practical issues that can cause the most difficulty in commercial and financial negotiations, based on the author’s own experience both as a banker and as an independent advisor in project finance. The book can serve as a structured introduction for those who are new to the subject, and as an aide mémoire for those developing and negotiating project-finance transactions. No prior knowledge of the financial markets or financial terms is assumed or required.
.Project finance is very good at funding specific investments in certain industries. Typically, PF is used for capital intensive infrastructure investments that employ established technology and generate stable returns, preferably returns that are denominated or can be easily converted into hard currencies. PF is not good at funding high-risk investments with uncertain returns, so is rarely used to fund research and development spending, new product introductions, advertising campaigns, or other potentially high-return intangible investments. PF is used only for tangible, large projects with known construction risks and well-established operating technology. Brealey et al. (1996) also stress that one of the key comparative advantages of project finance is that it allows the allocation of specific project risks (i.e., completion and operating risk, revenue and price risk, and the risk of political interference or expropriation) to those parties best able to manage them. PF is especially good at constraining governments from expropriating project cash flows after the project is operating, when the temptation to do so is especially great. At this stage, all the investments have been made and the project cash flows are committed to paying off the heavy debt load