Adebayo Ogunlesi

    Adebayo Ogunlesi, managing director and head of global projects for Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., has engineered financing for some of the biggest energy projects throughout the world. His firm, Credit Suisse First Boston, under Ogunlesi's direction, helped AES acquire generation assets from Edison International in California with financing in the $725 million area. Ogunlesi's division helped Texaco and Mission Energy raise about $400 million for Tri Energy in Thailand and worked with the Polsky Group to raise $100 million for the Androscoggin Power Project in Maine. He is also working with InterGen out of the United Kingdom and Hong Kong to finance the Mezhiou Wan power project in China and helping sponsors raise capital for projects in India, Mid-East and US "It has been a very active year," he reported.

    The latest development in an already full portfolio of achievement for Ogunlesi is the revolutionary financing arrangements for clients. Helping to make the cost of power more manageable, financing is now more closely allied to the useful life of facilities or plants.

    Whereby financing extended to the 10- to 14-year range in the past, Ogunlesi states that financing tenors are more closely aligned to the useful life of the plant or facility in the 15- to 25-year range. In the world of energy financing, this development opens the door for many more ventures.

    In an exclusive interview with World Cogeneration in his New York office, Ogunlesi assessed the Asian crisis. Interest in Asia has slowed because of economic conditions, but he expects it to pick up.

    "The two primary sources of funds, banks and the capital markets, are drawing back. A number of Asian banks that normally participate in the project finance business, including Japanese banks, are focused on domestic issues. The Korean and Singapore banks are also dealing with internal issues. So there is shrinkage in the capacity of funding," he says.

    "The fact that there is contraction in Asia and lesser relative interest in Asian power projects does not necessarily help U.S. sources and sponsors of financing," he added. "People take note of difficulties in Asia, so there is going to be an overall pause in the amount of power generation projects in such countries. But in the long run, countries still need more power, and private companies are going to have to help them finance, build and operate power plants."