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BBVA Banco Continental

In 2007, BBVA Banco Continental (Peru), a signatory Bank of the Equator Principles and the second largest commercial bank in Peru – set out to become a financial sector leader in energy efficiency (EE) and natural gas conversion (NGC) projects. In less than two years the Bank disbursed US$34.7 million in 69 projects, primarily to small and medium enterprises for clean energy projects.

The opportunity for BBVA to develop a clean energy product line arose from:

a) A partnership with the International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, helped the Bank build its capacity and project pipeline as well as create viable and sustainable credit product for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) seeking financing for energy efficiency and small-scale hydropower projects.

b) The launch of two national programs to promote natural gas conversion throughout the industrial sector, CENERGIA and CAMISEA. These programs. These programs, and in particular CAMISEA for expanding access to cleaner, less expensive natural gas, creating immediate opportunities for companies to upgrade / replace equipment and invest in broader energy efficiency production equipment.

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Optima Energia is a Mexican energy service company that provides energy services including an in-depth analysis of the property, designing an energy efficient solution, installing the required equipment and maintaining the system during a contract period of typically 10 years while at the same time financing the investments.

One of Optima Energia’s business lines is an energy service company (ESCO) that provides energy efficiency solutions and the financing to carry them out. This area of the firm specializes in helping hotels in Mexico achieve energy savings with a business model that has proven effective in other countries, but is only now beginning to catch on in Mexico.

The way it works is that Optima enters into performance-based contracts with its clients to implement an energy efficiency project. The resulting savings in energy costs generated by the project are used to pay back Optima’s capital investment. Additional savings generated are split between Optima and the client.

The work is expected to have a broader impact as well—the success of Optima’s engagements with its hotel clients will encourage more hotels in Mexico to consider such initiatives for their facilities, as well as firms in other industries such as manufacturing and public services that have large physical plants.

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