Jorge Kamine is a partner in the Corporate & Financial Services Department and a member of the Latin America Practice group. Jorge focuses his practice on a wide range of transactions in the energy and infrastructure sector globally with a particular emphasis on the debt and equity financing of projects and the structuring, acquisition and divestment of investments in a broad array of energy and infrastructure projects and assets. He has broad experience across the energy industry, with particular experience with renewable and conventional power projects, LNG facilities, pipelines, and upstream oil and gas development, as well as experience with public-private partnerships and investments in transportation and other non-energy infrastructure.
Among other transactions, Jorge worked on the following notable transactions*:
Project Finance and Other Finance Transactions
Bank of America Merrill Lynch in:
- a $1.4 billion loan facility for multiple rooftop solar projects with a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy for NRG Energy and Prologis’ Project Amp, which was named “Finance Innovation of the Year” by Renewable Energy World, and
- a loan facility for SolarCity’s SolarStrong project, which involved the installation of more than $1 billion in solar power installations for privatized U.S. military housing, and was recognized by the Financial Times U.S. Innovative Lawyers report.
- Caliche Development Partners on a multi-draw, senior secured debt facility of up to $150 million with Orion Energy Partners to support the continued build-out of its subsurface salt cavern storage complex in Beaumont, Texas, and the commissioning of a new 3.0 million barrel cavern for the storage of industrial gases
- MUFG Bank, Ltd., as lead arranger, administrative agent and collateral agent, in connection with a new holding company secured credit facility and the repricing and extension of an existing revolving and term senior secured credit facilities for the 620 MW, gas-fired Kleen Energy power plant in Connecticut.
- Peru LNG S.R.L. and its four sponsors in the financing of their $3.8 billion liquefied natural gas export project in Peru and a 408-kilometer pipeline that connects to an existing pipeline network east of the Andes, which was the largest foreign direct investment in Peru’s history and received a number of awards including being named “Best Energy Deal of the Year” by LatinFinance and “Latin America Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International.
- Sonnedix in the project financing of the 150 MW Atacama Solar PV plant, its first merchant solar project in Chile.
- SunEdison, Inc. in:
- the structuring and negotiating of a $500 million third-party equity commitment facility from First Reserve Corporation, in order for First Reserve to fund a series of SunEdison projects as part of SunEdison’s first-of-its-kind, US$1.5 billion "warehouse" debt financing facility, designed to fund the construction of its pipeline of renewable energy projects that it plans to drop down into its affiliated yieldco;
- the portfolio project financing of three solar photovoltaic power plants totaling 81.7 megawatts in the Republic of Honduras with US$146 million in non-recourse senior loan facilities from the International Finance Corporation, Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica/Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the OPEC Fund for International Development. The projects will sell all of the energy generated to the ENEE, the state-owned electricity utility in Honduras under three 20-year PPAs. This transaction represented the first project financing of a solar project in Honduras and in all of Central America, and the first instance in Central America of the financing of a portfolio of solar projects still under an early stage of construction;
- the financing of its 69.5-megawatt Javiera solar photovoltaic power plant in Chile with a US$130 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with CorpBanca and BBVA and a local Chilean Peso VAT facility of US$30 million. The plant will provide energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement to Minera Los Pelambres S.A. (Chile), a subsidiary of Antofagasta Minerals S.A. (Chile). This deal represented the first time that solely commercial banks are participating in the senior debt facility for a solar project in Chile and was named "Latin American Solar Deal of the Year" for 2014 at the first annual IJGlobal Americas Awards (March 2015); and
- the financing of its 72.8 MW Maria Elena merchant solar power plant in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile with (i) a non-recourse senior loan facility of up to $155 million provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Clean Technology Fund and the New York branch of Corpbanca, a Chilean commercial bank, and (ii) a local Chilean peso VAT facility of up to $35 million provided by Corpbanca. The project is set to be one of the largest solar photovoltaic merchant power plants in Latin America.
M&A, Joint Ventures and Cross-Border Investments
Arroyo Energy Group in its acquisition of operational and development-stage natural gas-fired power projects in Mexico.
- First Solar, Inc. in a range of M&A and other commercial transactions in relation to the expansion of its solar energy business in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Silver Point Capital, L.P. in its acquisition and subsequent sale of oil and gas properties off the coast of Southern California, which were originally acquired in a Section 363 bankruptcy sale.
- STOA on its acquisition of a 12.3% equity stake, alongside Acciona, in Concessionária Linha Universidade S.A (Linha Uni), the project company to whom the São Paulo Metro Line 6 concession contract was awarded.
- SunEdison in numerous M&A transactions, including:
- the restructuring and sale of approximately 578 MW operating solar projects and 1,000 MW of solar development assets located in Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Mexico and Uruguay to Actis, which was named Restructuring of the Year for 2017 by LatinFinance and Latin America M&A Deal of the Year by Power Finance & Risk;
- the restructuring and sale of wind development assets located in Mexico;
- the restructuring and sale of its Australian assets and its global residential solar business to Flextronics International Ltd.; and
- structuring and negotiating first-of-their-kind, warehouse facilities, designed to finance the construction and acquisition of a pipeline of renewable energy projects, including the terms of third-party equity commitments from investment funds.
Prior to joining Willkie, Jorge led a team that worked with the Public-Private Partnership unit of the Inter-American Development Bank in advising governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also previously served as counsel at The World Bank, where he worked with World Bank teams in developing, structuring and financing programs, projects and operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Jorge has made a long-standing commitment to pro bono, including, among other representations, the representation of a new initiative incubated by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers to develop a holistic, programmatic approach to make the global fashion industry more sustainable, a nonprofit making strategic investments in Nepal to rebuild infrastructure and promote microenterprises, a bilateral donor in the structuring, negotiating and administering approximately $20 million in development projects in Haiti. He has also worked on asylum cases, the formation of new U.S.-based nonprofits, and many other pro bono activities intended to give back to his local, national and global community.
* Jorge advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie.
Prior to joining Willkie in 2020, Jorge was an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Prior to Skadden, he served as an attorney in the Latin America and the Caribbean practice group of The World Bank and as a lawyer at a leading, international energy law firm based in Houston.
In addition to his practice of law, Jorge has long been active and in leadership positions in a number of organizations and associations, particularly those involved with the Latinx community, international law, international development, foreign policy, energy, and alumni of his law school, including most notably:
American Bar Association (Business and International Sections)
- American Society of International Law (Corresponding Editor, International Legal Materials)
- Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales (COMEXI) (Member)
- Council on Foreign Relations (Term Member, 2010-2015)
- Harvard Law School Association (Member, Latino Alumni Committee and former Regional Representative of the Gulf States)
- Harvard Law School Association of the District of Columbia (Past President and Founding Board Member)
- Harvard Law & International Development Society (Board of Advisors)
- Hispanic Bar Association of D.C. (Former Member of the Board of Directors)
- Hispanic Bar Association of Houston (President, 2004-2005, and Former Board Member)
- Inter-American Dialogue (Member of Board of Advisors for the Latin America Energy Advisor)
Jorge's recent publications have included:
- Co-author, “Chile Aims to Win Green Hydrogen Race,” Project Finance International (February 17, 2021)
- Co-author, “Perspectives on Latin America,” Willkie publication (January 19, 2021)
- Co-author, “Energy and Infrastructure: The Resilient Opportunities for Investment in Post-Pandemic Latin America,” GC Latin America Survey 2020 (September 15, 2020)
- Co-author, “Chile to Reform Legal Framework for Distributed Generation Facilities (PMGDs),” Willkie publication (September 8, 2020)
- Co-author, “Colombia Introduces Final Regulations Expanding the Investment Tax Deduction and Other Incentives for Non-Conventional Renewable Energy Projects in Major Effort to Support Sustainable Growth,” Willkie publication (September 1, 2020)
- Co-author, "LATAM COVID-19 Task Force – Actions Affecting Energy and Infrastructure Projects in Latin America [Updates 1-3]," Willkie publications (May/June 2020)
- Interviewee, “Latin America Energy & Projects: The COVID-19 Impact,” Latinvex (May 27, 2020)
Jorge has been a frequent speaker and panelist at various conferences and seminars on topics related to energy projects and policies in Latin America and the United States, particularly with respect to the financing of renewable energy projects. His more notable recent presentations have included:
- Moderator and Panelist, “Opportunities in Latin America,” Skadden’s 23rd Annual Energy and Infrastructure Projects Conference (Washington, D.C., May 14, 2019)
- Moderator and Panelist, “Latin America Outlook,” Skadden’s 22nd Annual Energy and Infrastructure Projects Conference (Washington, D.C., May 15, 2018)
- Moderator and Panelist, “Latin America Infrastructure: Good Outlook,” Latinvex (March 8, 2018)
- Panelist, “Latin America Outlook,” Skadden’s 21st Annual Energy and Infrastructure Projects Conference (Washington, D.C., May 9, 2017)
- Presenter, “Legal, Social and Political developments Throughout Mexico and Latin America,” Harvard Law School Celebration of Latino Alumni 2017 (Boston, March 3, 2017)
- Presenter, “Workshop on the Financing of Solar Projects in Colombia” organized by the Colombian Chamber of Energy (CCEnergia) (Bogotá Colombia, April 25, 2017)
- Moderator, “Unlocking Latin America’s Potential in the Solar PV Sector,” Fifth Annual Latin American and Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy’s (LAC-CORE) Renewable Energy Conference (Miami, October 3-5, 2016)
- Participant, “Financing and Developing International Renewable Energy Projects in Challenging Times,” Business Intelligence Online Webinar (June 7, 2016)