At a very early stage of a raw material project’s planning and negotiation phase, the Federal Government, on request, provides an indication as to whether a project is suitable for cover under the Untied Loan Guarantee scheme as well as a confirmation on the projct’s eligibility for cover in principle. Such an enquiry is informal and free of charge. It can be filed by all relevant project participants (lender, financial advisor, German offtaker- and sponsor). The enquiry is typically submitted following the exploration phase or within the project structuring phase.
What information is required for an enquiry?
Information required to receive an indication:
- Project description including specific information on the raw material
- Project participants including specific information on the borrowers
- Investment volume
- Project structure and its particularities
- Scheduled financing structure with further additional information on the collateral construction
- Planned offtake concept for the raw material including German final offtaker, sales volumes, transportation concept, etc.
Assessment steps and criteria of the Federal Government when determining a project’s eligibility for cover
Based on the available information we analyse the project and sales concept as well as the general market and supply situation with regard to the respective raw material. Furthermore, we may discuss particularities of the project and financing structure as well as the economic and political situation in the project country.
A main criteria for the eligibility for cover in principle is the macroeconomic relevance of the raw material offtake by the German company. Indications on the eligibility for cover can only be provided on a case-by-case basis.
Decision on the enquiry
The Federal Government makes a decision on the eligibility for cover in principle in consultation with the department of raw materials within the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Generally, this decision will also include the maximum amount which can be covered under an Untied Loan Guarantee. The Federal Government will inform the interested party of its decision in writing through a “Letter of Interest”.
When can applicants expect a decision?
The Federal Government’s indication for cover in principle is usually given within a timeline of two to six weeks by the “Arbeitskreis Projektfinanzierung” (working group for project finance) which generally meets every four weeks. In especially time-critical cases the Federal Government may provide its indication on the eligibility for cover in principle between the regular meetings.
Whereas the enquiry can be filed by all participating project parties, the application for an Untied Loan Guarantee has to be submitted by a bank. Such an application may be filed by German banks, branches of foreign banks established in Germany and, under certain conditions, foreign banks. The application procedure encompasses the preliminary review, the preliminary approval and lastly the final approval.
1. Preliminiary review
In the preliminary review the Federal Government decides whether an external expert should be involved in the subsequent detailed evaluation of the project’s economic viability and the justifiability of the risk or whether this evaluation can be made directly by the mandataries. This decision will be dependent on the project’s size and complexity. Where required, the applicant must mandate and reimburse the necessary external expert. Furthermore, the Federal Government either updates the decision-making on the eligibility for cover in principle (enquiry) based on currently available information and possible changes of the project concept or it decides the project’s eligibility for cover in principle insofar as this application is a first submission.
The time horizon for a preliminary review is approximately four to eight weeks depending on the project’s maturity.
2. Preliminary approval
The Federal Government decides on the preliminary approval for cover in parallel with the project development (inter alia loan assessments and decisions of the applicant bank). Thereby the Federal Government ensures the granting of an Untied Loan Guarantee provided that the project complies with all conditions stipulated within the preliminary approval for cover and that the submitted preconditions and legal situation remain unchanged. The preliminary approval for cover under an Untied Loan Guarantee is already binding for the applicant.
3. Final approval
Upon conclusion of the financing agreement, the Federal Government decides on the final granting of the Untied Loan Guarantee. By means of the firm commitment to grant cover, the Federal Government concludes a guarantee agreement (guarantee declaration) with the policyholder. The guarantee declaration includes all relevant aspects of the Untied Loan Guarantee, such as, scope and size of the covered risks as well as a description of the project.
Assessment steps and criteria of the Federal Government
Do you have any further questions regarding enquiry and application?
Please do not hesitate to contact our specialists who will be pleased to assist you with any questions.