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AEI Closes Financing for Phase II Wind Project in Nicaragua

HOUSTON, Nov 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- AEI, Centrans Energy Services, Inc and Energia Eolica de Nicaragua S.A. announced today that their subsidiary Consorcio Eolico Amayo (Fase II) S.A. closed long-term, non-recourse project financing for its second phase wind project in Nicaragua. The $45 million facility is a 15-year term loan arranged by the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).

The facility consists of a $42 million Senior Loan and a $3 million Mezzanine Loan. Senior Loan participants include CABEI, FMO, the Danish Export Credit Agency (EKF) and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO).

The Mezzanine Loan was provided by the Access to Energy Fund, which FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General International Cooperation).

The Amayo II wind project is comprised of 11 Suzlon S88-50HZ 2.1 MW wind turbines and is capable of producing a total of 23.1 MW of electricity. Combined with the Amayo I wind project (that has 19 turbines), the two phases have a total output of 63.0 MW representing almost 10% of available installed capacity.

The projects are located in Rivas, a prime wind location with access to transmission lines along the southwest Pacific coast of Nicaragua. Output for both phases is fully contracted under long-term, 15-year PPA's with the local power distribution companies Dissur and Disnorte.

"This financing enables the continued expansion of AEI's wind-generated power portfolio and further demonstrates the financial market's appetite for well structured projects in Central America," said Jim Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of AEI. "The Amayo Phase II project adds much needed and competitively priced sustainable energy for Nicaragua and complements our existing portfolio in the region," added Cesar Zamora, AEI Country Manager for Nicaragua.

Nanno Kleiterp, CEO of FMO, commented: "The funds provided by FMO are substantial in terms of amounts and role. In addition to our senior loan, we added a $3 million Mezzanine Loan which strengthens the capital base of the project and provides additional comfort to senior lenders. We are very satisfied with the commitment of and investments made by AEI, the regional and local shareholders to make this project a success. The impact of this renewable energy investment on the local energy sector, the economy and environment are expected to be very positive." "It's CABEI's privilege to catalyze funds to the region through Amayo Phase II given the fact that Amayo Phase I was completely financed by CABEI bringing confidence to investors and other lenders to support investments in Central America," said Mr. Nick Rischbieth, CABEI's CEO. Additionally, "Amayo II depicts government's effort to support the Country Strategic Energy Sector Plan, which search for a change in the energy matrix promoting renewable energy sources," commented Mr. Silvio Conrado, CABEI's Nicaragua Director.

About AEI: AEI owns and operates essential energy infrastructure businesses in emerging markets diversified across four core business segments - Power Distribution, Power Generation, Natural Gas Transportation and Services, and Natural Gas Distribution - within five regions - Andean, Southern Cone, Central America/Caribbean, China, and Europe/Middle East/North Africa. AEI and its 11,550 employees serve more than 7.4 million customers worldwide, with approximately 26,500 miles of gas and liquids pipelines, 121,000 miles of power distribution and transmission lines, and 2,302 MW of installed power generation capacity. More information can be found at www.aeienergy.com.

Investor Contact: Molly Whitaker 713-345-5046 molly.whitaker@aeienergy.com Media Contact: Oscar Serrate 713-345-5027 oscar.serrate@aeienergy.com About Centrans: Centrans Energy Services, Inc., a member of the Centrans Group of Companies (whose headquarters are in Guatemala City, Guatemala), develops, owns and operates power generation projects to provide needed electricity to the countries in the Central American region. It currently has investments in four power plants, mainly in Nicaragua, two of which are wind power projects. The other activities of the Centrans Group are related to shipping, port and terminal (liquid and dry bulk) related ventures.

About Energia Eolica de Nicaragua S.A. (ENISA): Energia Eolica de Nicaragua S.A. (ENISA) is a Nicaraguan company, formed in 1995, with the sole goal of developing, investing and operating wind projects in Nicaragua. Shareholders Luis Fonseca and Miguel Barrios worked as principal developers on the Amayo project from 1995 until 2007 on tasks related to permits, licenses, land agreements, wind measurements, and basic studies. ENISA currently holds a minority stake in both Amayo Phases.

About Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI): With its headquarters in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, CABEI is the leading provider of financial solutions for the development of the region. As part of the regional integration process and with the purpose of promoting the economic and social development of Central America, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration was founded in December 1960, by the Republics of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. To date, the Bank has incorporated non-regional members to its capital: Mexico, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Argentina, Colombia, the Kingdom of Spain, Panama and Dominican Republic, Belize was also incorporated to the bank as non founder beneficiary country.

Website: www.bcie.org E-mail: prensa_prensa@bcie.org About Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO): The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) is the entrepreneurial development bank of the Netherlands. FMO invests risk capital in companies and financial institutions in developing countries. With an investment portfolio of EUR 4.6 billion, FMO is one of the largest bilateral private sector development banks worldwide. Thanks in part to its relationship with the Dutch government, FMO is able to take risks which commercial financiers are not - or not yet - prepared to take. FMO's mission: to create flourishing enterprises, which can serve as engines of sustainable growth in their countries. www.fmo.nl Press contact: Nicoline van Slingelandt Communications Officer (PR) T: +31 70 314 9790 About BIO: BIO is a Development Finance Institution (DFI) established in 2001 in the framework of the Belgian Development Cooperation to support private sector growth in developing and emerging countries.

BIO finances the financial sector, enterprises and private infrastructure projects. Endowed with a capital of EUR 351 million, BIO provides tailored long-term financial products (equity, quasi-equity, debt and guarantees) and finances technical assistance programs and feasibility studies. BIO also encourages its business partners to implement environmental, social and governance standards.

BIO operates as an additional partner to the traditional financial institutions and looks for projects with a balance between return on investment and development impact.

BIO is a member of EDFI (European Development Finance Institutions).

Website: www.bio-invest.be E-mail: info@bio-invest.be About EKF: EKF is the Danish export credit agency. EKF helps Danish export companies make their transactions possible by insuring against the risks that may be involved in trading and investing internationally. EKF is owned and guaranteed by the Danish state and operates as a modern financial institution.

SOURCE: AEI CONTACT: AEI Investor Contact: Molly Whitaker, 713-345-5046 molly.whitaker@aeienergy.com Media Contact: Oscar Serrate, 713-345-5027 oscar.serrate@aeienergy.com Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: United States

Netherlands

Nicaragua

Europe

North America

Central America

Texas INDUSTRY KEYWORD: Energy

Alternative Energy

Utilities

Other Energy SUBJECT CODE: Funding

Product/Service