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Before the law

01 November 1999

There are two milestones in Italian legislation concerning project financing - the set of rules introduced by Law 415/98, and the establishment of a new Project Finance Unit by Law 144/99. By Franco Vigliano, Head of the Project Finance & Infrastructure Finance Group of Chiomenti.

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The new law on project financing was introduced by Law 415/98 on November 18, 1998 by way of an amendment to the Public Works Act of 1994 (Law 109/94), better known as the "Merloni Law" and renamed "Merloni ter" after the 1998 amendment.

The project finance bill had no easy Parliamentary course because its innovative content departed from the traditional Civil Law approach and introduced typical Common law institutes such as the floating charge and the step-in right of the lenders. It took more than three years of drafting and lobbying by the Bankers' Association and CNEL (the National Council for Economy and Labour). In the end, following...

(i) the success of big power projects (such as Sarlux, Isab Energy, Api Energia, Rosen, Serene and Centro Energia),

(ii) the enactment of new regulations in the energy, water, waste and transport sectors which take into account the needs of...

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