Co-Issuance of U$S 250,000,000 Private Notes by Rio Energy S.A., UGEN S.A. and UENSA S.A. in the International Market

Legal counsel to Rio Energy S.A., UGEN S.A. y UENSA S.A, as Co-Issuers, in the co-issuance of Secured Floating Rate Private Notes worth U$S 250,000,000, due in 2023.

Pursuant to the Note Issuance Facility Agreement, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as arranger; Citibank N.A. acted as notes agent, paying agent and registrar, and La Sucursal de Citibank, N.A., established in the Republic of Argentina, acted as collateral agent and trustee.


Financial Statements´ reporting in constant currency

The enactment of Law N° 27,468 on November 15th, 2018 reestablished the effectiveness of previously abrogated Section 62 (in fine) of General Corporations Law N° 19,550 that sets forth that interim and annual financial statements are required to be reported in constant currency and delegated in the Public Registry of Commerce (“IGJ”) its effectiveness date.

In such respect, IGJ´s issuance of General Resolution N° 10/2018 (the “Resolution”) on December 28th, 2018 reestablished the effectiveness of such obligation and additionally amended General Resolution Nº 7/2015 in the following related matters:

  • financial statements must be filed in constant currency (except those issued by entities subject to special control regimes)
  • financial statements shall be restated in accordance with the regulations issued by the Argentine Federation of Professional Councils of Economic Sciences (FACPCE) and adopted by the Professional Council of Economic Sciences of the City of Buenos Aires (CPCECABA);
  • the decisions to be adopted by governance bodies must be taken with accounting information in constant currency;
  • all restatements must be expressed in their actual value;
  • companies subject to the Public Registry of Commerce’s control that are controlling, controlled or affiliated to other companies subject to oversight by the National Securities Commission may adopt specific regulations applicable to the latter, explaining the reasons in the financial statements.

Any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Juan Pablo Bove, Federico Otero, Julián Razumny, or corporate@trsym.com.


Relevant News in Renewable Energies: Implementation of Distributed Generation Law No. 27,424

On December 21, 2018, Resolution No. 314/2018 (the “Resolution”) issued by the Secretary of Government of Energy (the “SGE”), under the Ministry of Treasury, was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Argentina.

The Resolution contains implementation rules of the Distributed Generation Law No. 27,424 (the “Law”) and its pertaining Decree No. 986/2018 (the “Decree”, and jointly with the Law and the Resolution, the “Distributed Energy Framework”).

Most relevant matters of the Resolution are outlined below:
 
1) Categories of users-generators and connection to the grid

The following categories of users-generators are contained in the Resolution:

  1. Small users-generators (UGpe, for its Spanish acronym): users connected to the distribution in low voltage, with an equipment of a nameplate capacity no greater than 3 kV.
  2. Medium users-generators (UGme, for its Spanish acronym): users connected to the distribution grid in low/medium voltage, with an equipment of a nameplate capacity comprised between 3 kV and 300 kV.
  3. Major users-generators (UGma, for its Spanish acronym): users connected to the distribution grid in low/medium voltage, with an equipment of a nameplate capacity comprised between 300 kW and 2 MW.

The Resolution also establishes that the equipment of any of the users-generators described above shall not exceed the total aggregate of 2 MW per each MW for each supply point and that such users are allowed to connect to the grid up to a nameplate capacity equivalent to the one actually contracted with the relevant distribution company (authorization of the pertaining regulatory agency is mandatory for greater installed capacity).

For those purposes, the procedure in order to connect to the grid will be carried out by means of a public access digital procedure, to be implemented by the Undersecretary of Renewable Energy (the “URE”).

Equipment already connected as of the date on which the Resolution is issued, must also follow the connection procedure to verify whether such equipment complies with legal and technical requirements set forth in the Distribution Energy Framework.
 
2) Distributed Generation Agreement

The distributed generation agreement will be entered by and between any of the user-generators described above and the relevant distribution company and shall become effective as of the date on which it is executed with no expiration date (except for those events allowing for termination, as further described below). This agreement will be ancillary in respect of the agreement already in place with the distributor.

Assignment of the distributed generation agreement is allowed upon prior consent of the distribution company.

Rights and obligations with respect of the user-generator and distribution company, as applicable, are foreseen in the Resolution, inter alia:

  1. distribution company’s right to verify compliance with the requirements set forth in the Distributed Energy Framework and to disconnect users-generators from the grid in case technical conditions are not complied with;
  2. distribution company’s obligation to purchase the electricity generated and injected to the grid by the user-generator;
  3. users-generators’ right to supply energy into the grid with no additional charges whatsoever; and
  4. user-generator’s ability to assign accumulated credits derived from surplus energy; accumulated credits by injected energy and receive payments from such credits.

Finally, the Resolution enables the pertaining distributor to suspend the distributed generator agreement should the user-generator fail to comply with the requirements set forth in the Distributed Energy Framework and in turn, terminate such agreement upon a material breach. Prior remedy stage and defense by the user-generator before the regulatory agency is foreseen.
 
3) Qualified Installer

Qualified installers shall verify that distributed generation systems comply with the requirements set forth in the Distributed Energy Framework. Professionals from different levels of education may participate as qualified installers and in order to act in such capacity, degree validated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology is required together with enrollment in the relevant professional association.
 
4) Payment structure

Payments under the Distributed Energy Framework shall be in accordance with the requirements set forth below:

  • At the end of each billing period, users-generators shall receive an invoice detailing their consumption and energy injected into the grid, expressed in kilowatt-hour (kWh) with the corresponding prices of each unit expressed in argentine pesos/kWh.
  • Energy injected to the grid shall be measured, registered and paid by distribution companies, which shall be duly reflected in the corresponding invoice.
  • No additional charges from the distribution companies allowed.
  • Should the energy injected into the grid be greater than the one consumed by the user-generator, the user-generator shall have a credit which will be taken into account for future billing periods.
  • Credits in favor of users-generators shall not expire and remain in the corresponding account until they are compensated.
  • Assignment of such credits to accounts of other users of the same distribution company shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure set forth by the corresponding regulatory agency.

 
5) Promotional Benefits

Promotional benefits shall be granted to users-generators acting under those jurisdictions which adhere to the Distributed Energy Framework. Local promotional benefits may also apply.
 
6) Pending Matters

Matters related to (i) the Distributed Generation Development Trust (Fondo Fiduciario para el Desarrollo de Generación Distribuida); (ii) the public access digital platform; (iii) the promotional benefits; and (iv) the fiscal credit certificates set forth in section 28 of the Law remain pending of implementation and are subject to future regulation by the URE.
 
At TRS&M we are available to provide clarifications or further information of any matter addressed above.


Electroingeniería S.A.’s AR$ 314,509,800 Class II Notes

Counsel in Electroingeniería S.A.’s issuance of Class II Notes for AR$ 314,509,800 under the global Program of Notes for an amount up to U$S 350,000,000. AdCap Securities Argentina S.A. acted as placement agent of the Class II Notes.


“Crescere V” Financial Trust for US$ 36.223.016

Deal counsel in the issuance and placement in Argentina of trust securities for US$ 36.223.016 issued under the “Crescere V” Financial Trust, in which Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A. acted as arranger and placement agent, TMF Trust Company (Argentina) S.A. acted as financial trustee, Syngenta Agro S.A. acted as trustor and servicer and Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires as placement agent.


“BeST Consumer Directo Serie III” Financial Trust for AR$ 200,000,000

Deal counsel in the issuance and placement in Argentina of trust securities for AR $ 200,000,000 issued under the “BeST Consumer Directo Serie III” Financial Trust, in which Crédito Directo S.A acted as trustor and collection and information agent, and TMF Trust Company (Argentina) S.A acted as trustee and issuer.


Eugenia Pracchia joins TRS&M as partner of the Litigation, Arbitration, Insolvency & Compliance Team Eugenia Pracchia

Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani expands its Litigation, Arbitration, Insolvency & Compliance Team through the addition of Eugenia Pracchia as a partner.

Eugenia is an 11-year experienced lawyer with a J.D. degree from the School of Law of the University of Buenos Aires. She holds a post-graduate degree in Economic & Business Law from the Catholic University of Argentina and an LL.M. from the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona. She is also an Ethics & Compliance Professional, certified by the Argentine Association of Ethics & Compliance (an IFCA member).

Prior to joining Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani, Eugenia worked both in the private and public sectors. While serving in renowned Argentine firms, Eugenia represented before Court first-tier companies in commercial litigation and administrative proceedings and also advised in regulatory aspects of financial, FX, capital markets and AML matters. While in the public sector, she acted as counsel to the Central Bank of Argentina’s Board of Directors, enhancing her knowledge of the financial market, banking supervision and regulation, retail payment systems and financial innovation. She has also received several academic distinctions and served as professor in business and banking law academic programs.

In joining Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani, Eugenia will contribute to the development and expansion of the Firm due to the continuous need for legal services related to domestic and international compliance and its controversies.

Tavarone, Rovelli, Salim & Miani is proud to have Eugenia among its members, who will strengthen the Firm and will contribute to maintain it as one of the most active in our legal market.


RenovAr 3 program - MiniRen

On November 15, 2018, Resolution No. 100/2018 (hereinafter, the “Resolution”) issued by the Secretary of Government of Energy (the “SGE”) has been published in the Official Gazette.

By means of this Resolution, the SGE has launched RenovAr 3 program – MiniRen, addressed to small-medium renewable projects that, if selected as awardees, will enter into a long-term power purchase agreement (“PPA”) with the Wholesale Electric Market Management Company (“CAMMESA” for its Spanish acronym). The tender’s terms and conditions are also attached as Annex thereto.

An outline of the tender terms is summarized below:

Schedule Consultation period: 14/11/2018 – 18/02/2019
Bid submission: 27/03/2019
First-stage qualification: 7/05/2019
Selection of winners: 17/05/2019
Execution of PPA: 20/05/2019 – 8/11/2019
Required Capacity by Technology Wind/Solar PV: 350 MW
Biomass: 25 MW
Biogas: 10 MW
Landfill Biogas: 5 MW
Small Hydro (PAH): 10 MW
Requirements by Technology
Wind S.P. Biomass Biogas L.G. PAH
Minimum Capacity (MW) 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Maximum Capacity (MW) 10 10 10 10 10 10
Maximum COD (days) 730 730 1095 1095 1095 1095
Maximum Price (USD/MWh) 60 60 110 160 130 105
Qualified Bidders • Natural persons or legal entities (onshore or offshore)
• Consortiums (“UTE” for its Spanish acronym)
• Trusts
PPA – Payment Priority and Dispatch Priority • 20-year term PPA as from COD. Generators are entitled to terminate the PPA for convenience upon the tenth (10) year anniversary with no associated penalties.
• The PPAs shall have the same payment priority that those PPAs under RenovAr 1, 1.5 and 2.
• No dispatch priority will be granted for RenovAr 3 projects.
Payment Guarantees – FODER • FODER shall provide a short-term guarantee backing up CAMMESA’s obligation to make payments under the PPA. Tenor of this guarantee shall be of ninety (90) days. Adhesion to the FODER by means of the execution of a FODER Adhesion Agreement is required.
• A USD 35,000,000 bank guarantee provided by the National Bank of Argentina and BICE also foreseen.
• No world bank guarantee contemplated.
Integrity Policy • Bidders shall provide an Integrity Policy Program in accordance with Law No. 27,401 of Corporate Criminal Liability.
Other relevant matters • Both trusts and consortiums are authorized to act as bidders.
• For wind and solar photovoltaic technologies, hybrid projects are allowed.
• A Technical Connection and Commercial Agreement Letter shall be executed with the Distribution Agent and, if applies, the Provider of the Technical Transmission Function (“PAFTT”).
• Except for the Province of Buenos Aires, a maximum capacity of 20 MW per province is foreseen.

At TRS&M we are available to provide clarifications or further information of any matter addressed above.


Thermal Generation and Fuel Procurement: New and Most Relevant Regulation

On November 7, Resolution No. 70/2018 (hereinafter, the “Resolution”) issued by the Secretary of Government of Energy (the “SGE”) has been published in the Official Gazette, with relevant impact towards thermal generators, auto-generators and co-generators, acting within the wholesale electricity market (the “WEM” and “WEM Agents”, as the case may be), whereas by means of this Resolution, Resolution No. 95/13 issued by the former Secretary of Energy (“SE”) has been partially derogated, and therefore, WEM Agents are now entitled to procure their own fuel, whether by their own means or by private third-party fuel supply agreements.

After the enactment of Resolution SE 95/13, WEM Agents were required to receive supply directly from Wholesale Electric Market Management Company (“CAMMESA”, for its Spanish acronym, which acts an independent system operator or ISO), and generators were expected to receive sums arising only under the provisions of Resolution SE No. 95/2013.

By this Resolution that has been recently issued -with abrogating effects regarding Resolution SE 95/13 on fuel-supply matters- WEM Agents may now purchase the fuel that is necessary for their operations in such capacity-.

Because of this Resolution, CAMMESA has ceased to be the sole fuel-supplier of the WEM.

This is significant as the policy adopted by this Resolution is that the SGE has reinstated a fuel-supply market in Argentina, which is aligned with the foundations and criteria originally set forth in Law No. 24,065.

Please find below a brief summary of the Resolution, its relevance and associated business opportunities:
 
1. Partial abrogation of Resolution SE 95/2013

As indicated before, the Resolution abrogates former Resolution SE 95/2013 on matters regarding CAMMESA acting as sole supplier of the necessary for the WEM Agents’ operation. The former section of Resolution SE 95/13 established that fuel supply, operation and management of the WEM and dispatch of electricity were carried out solely by CAMMESA.

As of the date hereof and by means of this Resolution, WEM Agents may now procure their fuel without resorting to CAMMESA. Associated costs for self or third-party fuel supply will be calculated pursuant to CAMMESA’s variable-fee scheme.

The Resolution further states that CAMMESA shall remain as independent system operator and in charge of supplying fuel to those WEM Agents that do not (or may not) opt-out from CAMMESA’s sole-supply mechanism.

Complementary regulation is expected in the short term by the SGE -or lower-ranked authority depending from the SGE, addressing matters such as technical issues and the opt-out mechanism.

2. Business opportunities

As it is publicly known, hydrocarbon unconventional reservoirs, as Vaca Muerta have generated a big interest for investment.

Vaca Muerta is far yet from achieving its full potential despite notorious advances occurred recently. Analysts estimate that the production of natural gas will be further significantly increased. Such boost would enlarge natural gas supply and in turn, provide a proper environment for new investment and further business opportunities.

Enabling power generators to freely-negotiate the terms and conditions for their fuel-supply, without intervention from CAMMESA, together with growing natural gas production, certainly will enhance efficiency and competitiveness of the electricity markets.
 
At TRS&M we are available to provide clarifications or further information of any matter addressed above.


Renewable Energy: Regulation of Distributed Generation Law No. 27,424

On November 1, 2018, Decree No. 986/2018 (the “Decree”) was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Argentina.

The Decree contains the applicable regulation of Law No. 27,424, which approved the Distributed Renewable Energy Generation Incentive Scheme (the “Law”), passed by the National Congress on November 2017.

The Law sets forth policies and contractual conditions applicable to the distributed renewable energy generation by distribution network users (which in turn are enabled to connect their small-scale renewable energy projects to the electricity grid for purposes of supplying power remainders) and declared this activity as of national interest. Moreover, the Law is also based on open access rules, whereby the distribution companies regulated as public utilities must provide open access to the systems operated by them in this regard.

The Decree establishes that measures implemented under the Law shall be oriented towards achieving a total installed capacity of one thousand megawatts (1,000 MW) on the twelfth- year anniversary as from the date on which the Decree becomes effective (year 2030).

The most relevant aspects of the Decree are summarized below:

1) Enforcement Authority

  • The Secretary of Government of Energy, under the Ministry of Treasury, is designated as the enforcement authority of the Law and the Decree (the “Enforcement Authority”), with faculties to issue clarifying and complementary regulations.
  • The Enforcement Authority shall: (a) provide technical requirements which users-generators must fulfill in order to generate electric energy for self-consumption and to inject surpluses to the distribution network, and (b) define the categories of users-generators according to technical parameters.
  • Further regulation containing safety and technical requirements, to be carried out by the distribution companies in order to enable connection to their grid, is differed to a later stage.
  • The Enforcement Authority will approve the terms and conditions of the renewable energy contract to be entered by and between the user-generators and distribution companies. Pursuant to the Decree, the Enforcement Authority shall define the Distributed Renewable Energy Generation Contract main terms and conditions.

2) Scope

  • Categories of user-generators shall be defined by the Enforcement Authority, based on power of contracted load and capacity of generation to be installed.
  • The way upon the user-generators will connect to the grid, as well as procedural steps including a special authorization, are deferred to further complementary regulation.

3) Connection authorization

  • In order to obtain a connection authorization, users willing to install a distributed generation equipment connected to the distribution network shall comply with the procedure to be approved by the Enforcement Authority.
  • Such procedure shall include -inter alia- the following steps:

    • Analysis of connection feasibility based on the distribution network and the characteristics of distributed generation equipment to be installed.
    • Verification of the installations.
    • Execution of a distributed electric energy generation agreement.
    • Set-up of smart-grid equipment.
    • Connection to the distribution network.
  • When the technical and security evaluation is approved, the user-generator and the distributing companies shall execute a distributed electric energy generation agreement.
  • Once such agreement is executed and the connection is allowed, the Enforcement Authority shall issue a certificate of compliance with applicable requirements and the date of connection to the bidirectional measuring equipment.

4) Invoicing system

The Decree sets forth a net balance invoicing system, whereby costs of consumed energy and produced energy are compensated between each other.

Each distribution company shall comply with the following:

  • Distributing companies shall buy and pay to user-generators all energy that may be injected to the distribution network generated by renewable sources.
  • The “Injection Rate” shall be the purchase price of electric energy, including the transmission rate of the Wholesale Electricity Market (the “WEM”).
  • This compensation shall be valued in Argentine pesos and included in the pertaining invoice.
  • If there are any surpluses in favor of user-generators, a credit for future invoices will be generated. If such credit remains, user-generators may request the distribution companies to compensate the remaining amounts. Distribution companies shall pay the remaining amounts in no less than two fixed annual payments.
  • Credits may be assigned by users connected to the same grid and may be allocated for tax benefit purposes.

5) FODIS

  • The Law creates a government-trust fund known as the Distributed Renewable Energy Generation Fund (the “FODIS”, for its Spanish acronym), which is regulated by the Law, the Decree, rules dictated by the Enforcement Authority, the trust agreement and further regulation. FODIS’ most relevant aspect are summarized below:
    • FODIS’ parties: the Enforcement Authority shall act as FODIS’ trustor. A public financial entity shall act as trustee.
    • FODIS’ beneficiaries: final beneficiaries shall be the owners of renewable energy generation projects as approved by the FODIS (the “Beneficiaries”).
    • Purpose:

      • The FODIS is entitled to grant non-fiscal incentives.
      • The FODIS may also grant other benefits–e.g., through bonuses in the capital cost for the acquisition of distributed generation equipment–.
      • Beneficiaries’ may also benefit from benefits granted by the FODIS, in their capacity of equipment supplier’s or services providers.
      • Equity contributions are enabled, as well as financing facilities.
    • Funding: the FODIS will be funded by means of:

      • Resources from the national budget, determined from time to time by the Enforcement Authority. In this matter, the Law has allocated the sum of Argentine Pesos five hundred million (AR$ 500,000,000) for 2018.
      • Capital reimbursements; interests, fines, charges, expenditures, administrative costs and any amounts which the FODIS is entitled to receive; rights, guarantees or insurance which the FODIS receives from the Beneficiaries or third parties.
    • Other issues: financing facilities shall be in accordance with requirements that will be determined by the FODIS. Interest rate for repayment may also be subject to a reduced rate.

6) Promotional regime

  • The granting of incentives shall be available to user-generators of jurisdictions which adhere to the Law and only if general, technical and security requirements are fulfilled.
  • The Enforcement Authority shall set forth the conditions and procedures which shall be fulfilled for the granting of incentives.
  • The Enforcement Authority shall set forth the procedure by which the Beneficiaries may request the fiscal credit certificate.
  • The Enforcement Authority and the Federal Bureau of Public Income (the “AFIP”, for its Spanish acronym) shall regulate further conditions in this regard.
  • The fiscal credit certificate shall not be designated to set off obligations arising from liability caused by third parties’ debts or from the acting of taxpayers as withholding agents.
  • Credits and other incentives of the Law may be granted during the twelve (12) year period as of the entry into force of the Decree.

7) FANSIGED:

  • The Ministry of Production and Work (the “MPyT”, for its Spanish acronym) shall set forth the requirements and technical regulations related to the Systems, Equipment and Inputs National Manufacturing Incentives Scheme (the “FANSIGED”, for its Spanish acronym).
  • Activities of technical assistance for the investigation and development of new prototypes of the addition of improvements in products design shall be considered activities of investigation, design and development and, consequently, shall be benefited by the FANSIGED.
  • The MPyT shall set forth requirements and procedures which interested parties shall comply with in order to receive incentives.
  • Micro, Small and Medium enterprises which comply with requirements set forth in the Law and which wish to adhere to the FANSIGED shall obtain a PyME Certificate and shall submit documentation which shows proof of turnover and shareholding structure of the corresponding company.

8) Tax incentives

The following incentives are included in the FANSIGED:

  • Fiscal certificate for the investment on investigation and development, design, capital assets and certificates for manufacturing companies. The procedure to obtain such certificate shall be jointly determined by the MPyT and the AFIP.
  • Accelerated depreciation in Income Tax, for the acquisition of capital assets for the manufacturing of equipment and supplies destined for the distributed renewable energy generation, except for automobiles, in the conditions which shall be set forth by the MPyT and the Ministry of Treasury.
  • VAT early reimbursement for the acquisition of assets mentioned in the immediately preceding section, pursuant to a procedure to be determined by the MPyT and the Ministry of Finance.
  • Access to financing with preferential rates, in accordance with regulation which the MPyT shall set forth.
  • Access to the Suppliers Developers Program, in accordance with regulation which the MPyT shall set forth.

9) Penalties

The Decree also sets forth that failure to comply with terms related to information and authorization requests, as well as to measuring systems installation and connection by user-generations, shall be penalized and shall result in a compensation in favor of the user-generator based on the penalties set forth by each regulatory authority.
 
Further steps regarding implementation of applicable procedures as well as other requirements mentioned above are due and expected to occur briefly.

At TRSyM we are available to provide clarifications or further information of any matter addressed above.