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Duke Energy Gets Chinese Backing For Credit Line

Thirty of the largest banks in the U.S., Europe and Asia have teamed up to backstop Duke Energy with a $6 billion line of credit. The money will give Duke and Progress Energy steady access to cash and good interest rates when borrowing money after their merger. Duke Energy spokesman Tom Williams says the company is particularly pleased that Chinese banks are providing 11 percent of the credit line. "There's a lot of money in these Chinese banks and it's helpful to have access to that," says Williams. "If you look at the issues with the European banks right now, there are some concerns. So the better we can have diversity in something like this from banks across the world, the better it is for our customers in the U.S." Williams says this is the highest level of participation Chinese banks have ever had in providing a credit line for a U.S. electric utility. Duke Energy is looking to harness Chinese advances in energy technology and China's interest in U.S. infrastructure, including energy, water and transportation, is growing. The Chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund today said the country is "keen to get involved" in such projects in the U.S. and Europe.