March 21 (Reuters) - China-based ReneSola Ltd received a 320 million Chinese Yuan ($50.9 million) loan from China Development Bank Corp, in the latest instance of the Asian country’s support for heavily-indebted solar companies.
The company had total debt of $790.2 million and cash and equivalents of $268.1 million, as of December.
“This funding will support our operations in China, a market in which we saw encouraging growth in the fourth quarter of last year,” Chief Executive Xianshou Li said in a statement.
Beijing’s plans to double its installed solar power capacity this year has propelled an increasing number of Chinese solar companies to look homeward to boost shipments.
Chinese lenders and government organizations have supported solar players amid a general reluctance to allow credit defaults.
The local government in Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd’s home town is seeking to bail out the Chinese solar panel maker, despite an insolvency petition filed for its main unit by a group of the company’s lenders.
Companies, including LDK Solar Co Ltd and Hanwha SolarOne Co Ltd, have received loans from Chinese banks.
ReneSola, with a market capitalization of $138.95 million on Wednesday, said the loan agreement was for 15 years.
The company doubled its fourth-quarter shipments on increased demand from China, but reported its sixth straight quarterly loss last week as panel prices remained sluggish.
Solar companies have been hit by a steep fall in panel prices that resulted from rapid capacity expansion in China and top solar market Europe’s withdrawal of generous subsidies for the fledgling industry.
Shares of ReneSola have fallen about 25 percent since it reported its forth-quarter results to close at $2.84 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.