China Merchants Bank has been a leading proponent of BRI since its inception and has been proactive in developing banking solutions to support Chinese enterprises working in markets along its route.
The lender has established a one-stop integrated global financial service and product system made up of trade and supply chain finance, project finance, cash and treasury management, forex trading, investment banking and enterprise employee customized financial services.
One of the flagship projects on which these capabilities have been deployed is the Gardabani power plant in Georgia. The 230-megawatt combined-cycle thermal plant is located in the Kvemo Kartli region, around 40 kilometres from the capital, Tbilisi.
The plant is being developed by the Partnership Fund (PF), Georgia’s state-owned shareholding company, and its subsidiary the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC).
With support from CMB, the EPC contract for the plant’s development was secured in 2016 by China Tianchen Engineering Corporation (TCC). The foundations for the facility were laid by Georgian government officials in June and construction is due to be completed before the 2020 winter season.
The project is seen as a big step towards securing energy independence for Georgia, a key BRI player in the Caucasus.
CMB’s BRI strategy has also involved signing memoranda of understanding with global banks including Standard Chartered and, mostly recently, Citi for cooperation on BRI projects in areas including project finance, renminbi internationalization and capital markets.