0 Part Course  | 
Book places now

Project Finance Modelling

Learn how to master project finance model structure and design

A variety of colorful glass sheets stacked together creating a rainbow effect

A two-day course

Preliminary Comments

  • Review essential elements of project financing structures
  • The role of the model within the overall process
  • Project Financing risk and its management

Model Design

Financiers focus on sculpted debt serviceability whilst Sponsors focus on the valuation – the Sponsor IRR that the project generates. This course embraces both perspectives.
  • Different analytical purposes = different methods of modelling implementation:
    • Valuation and feasibility models
    • Finance structuring models
    • Statistical probability models
  • Data manipulation models
  • Designing the Analysis Worksheet
  • Determining the functionality of the model
  • Structuring how inputs will be accessed and controlled
  • Importance of the logic flow through the model
  • Layout of the worksheets within the workbook
  • Layout of the individual worksheets

Modelling Best Practice

There are 8 principles of modelling best practice and each of these are addressed progressively throughout training as opposed to a formal session. Included are illustrations of the problems if the principles are not respected.
  • Consistent timelines – how to protect
  • Consistent formulae across rows
  • Hard coding in formulae
  • Usability:
    • Organisation and accessibility of model inputs
    • Organisation of summary outputs
    • Use of flags and masks to simplify formulae
    • Naming conventions, formatting conventions
    • Status worksheet
  • NW to SE workflow
  • Modelling efficiency
  • Circular references:
    • Which are permissible and which not
    • Workarounds if the model needs to be audited
  • Macros:
    • The dangers and the precautions that should be taken
    • Editing, to minimise complications
    • Implementing macros for common purposes
    • Looping macros

Practical 1: Practical Finance Modelling Training

  • The creation and formatting of the worksheets
  • Setting up timelines and flags

Construction Phase

A critical worksheet within a project financing financial model. However, there is a large commonality in its structure across all sectors.
  • Identifying (and explaining) the elements the model needs to capture:
    • cost overruns
    • delays
    • variation orders
    • staged payments;
    • maintenance and refurbishment cycle
    • liquidated damages
    • performance bonds
    • retentions
    • multiple currencies
    • the financing structure
    • multiple tranche drawdowns
    • interest during construction
    • standby financings

Practical 2

  • implementing the construction worksheet

Volatility Modelling Explained 

From a modelling perspective, there are 4 types of operating costs and 6 characteristics required for capture. In this instance, the Operating Costs worksheet is fundamental to the model as it's the main determinant of cash flow volatility.

  • Project dynamics
  • Modelling of cost structures
  • Quantification of risk

Practical 3: Project Finance Modelling Training

  • Modelling of Operating Costs 

Generation, Revenue and Operating Costs

Having dealt with operating costs in a generic context, it is proposed to adapt it to a financial model for power generation projects, since power generation is the largest sector to use project financing structures.
  • Identifying (and explaining) the elements the model needs to capture:
    • Rated capacity and internal works power
    • Plant load factor
    • Planned outages
    • Unscheduled outages
    • The heat rate
    • Degradation
    • Thermal efficiency of fuel
    • The carbon content of fuel
    • Various other operating costs 

Practical 4

  • Implementing the model to the Free Cash Flow stage 


Because the bank is active across all sectors, many different financing worksheets will be encountered. During this project finance modelling training course, each is reviewed and implemented in a series of practicals.
  • Identifying (and explaining) the elements the model needs to capture:
    • Annuity-style amortisation
    • Straight Line amortisation
    • Sculpted amortisation
    • Cash sweeps
    • Loan life cover ratio
    • Annual debt service cover ratio
    • Cashflow lockups 

Practicals 5++

  • Implementing several different styles of financing worksheets – annuity, straight line, sculpted to ADSCR (average debt service coverage ratio), sculpted to LLCR (loan life coverage ratio), and cash sweeps.

Procedures Upon Receiving a Model 

Any analysis performed on a model is nonsense if said model itself is nonsense or if it has material errors. There is no shortcut to model audit and to ensure that there are no errors at all, every unique formula in the model has to be checked. Model Review during this project finance modelling training course is a procedure allowing the recipient to discover if the model has credibility within a maximum time frame of 30-40 minutes.

  • The recommended layout and inter-relationship of worksheets for a typical project finance model;
  • Shortcuts to determine a received model architecture;
  • The use of audit software:
    • Detecting breaches of Excel best practice rules;
    • Listing of formulas and cell references that need checking;
  • Tracing the logic flow 

Project Finance Modelling Training Course: Analysis

Models are built to be subjected to analysis. The precise detail and nature of the analysis will change between transactions. A well-built model has sitting on top, a single worksheet where the analyst spends all of their time, controlling inputs, observing outputs and driving functionality; scenarios, sensitivities or break-evens.  If the analyst ever needs to leave the Analysis worksheet the model hasn’t been built properly

  • Identifying & explaining the elements the model needs to capture:
    • Sensitivity analysis
    • Break-even analysis
    • Scenario analysis

Redcliffe’s course trainer has a unique blend of experience in Law, Corporate Banking, Investment Banking, Corporate Financial Management, General Project Financing Management and Workout. He has gained a worldwide reputation for the quality and depth of training courses both developed and presented over 20+ years.

  • This trainer was called to the English bar having trained as a lawyer at Cambridge and the Middle Temple.
  • 5 years as a corporate relationship manager in New York and London with American bank Chase, the world’s largest financier of oil & gas projects. During this time he was exposed to the development of the North Sea projects and petrochemicals.
  • 6 years of investment banking in Hong Kong and London (Wardley – the investment bank subsidiary of HSBC), primarily involved in mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructurings.
  • 6 years as CFO of a public group with a joint head office in the United States and Australia. In this role, our expert trainer was engaged in some 35 acquisitions, over 20 equity raisings and a large number of complex financings, many of them structured on a limited recourse basis.
  • 18 months responsible for the ‘workout’ of a company in severe financial difficulties, being appointed as General Manager by KPMG.
  • This trainer has over two decades of experience dedicated to independent consultancy and financial training. Consulting-wise, he has primarily been involved in the financial modelling project finance and structuring of power generation, LNG, mining, and petrochemical projects. He has also undertaken project vetting for several clients.
  • On the training side, he conducts sessions in Financial Modelling for project finance, Loan Documentation, Project Finance and Corporate Finance, Corporate Valuation and M&A.

Project finance modelling at Redcliffe expects participants to have, at an absolute minimum, a basic understanding surrounding the use of financial modelling in Excel. During the session, this skill is adapted to the various problem-solving situations encountered in project finance. Skill level is participant tailored and following registration delegates are asked to complete a straightforward, one-page questionnaire. This helps identify your current level of proficiency in financial modelling whilst allowing our training expert to adapt practical sessions accordingly.

Sessions are tailored to the bespoke requirements of participants, ensuring you gain everything required across the two days. The main objectives of this course are to ensure an enhanced understanding and proficiency within the overall subject.

Presentation, illustration and practical implementation all feature prominently in this training course. In turn, this session is led by an expert with a training background and dedicated industry, hands-on experience.

It’s important to understand that we don’t immediately become accomplished in a highly practical subject following a short course. Proficiency comes from practice and experience and upon session completion, delegates receive a takeaway library of practical exercises on various components of a project finance model. Secondary to this, instructions on building the supplied templates are provided alongside any necessary support. Training sessions are dedicated to you and the needs of your team.

This course fits perfectly across two days covering all required aspects. From modelling of the project's construction phase to the operations (a power generation project is used as the platform for this, the financing, and the Analysis worksheets). This session also covers the procedures for investigating receipt of a model prepared by others, to verify its integrity.

The Importance of the Modelling

Where financing is carried out with limited recourse to the company behind the project, it’s dependent solely on the cash flows generated by the individual project itself. High standards of modelling are now critical and in particular, are required to test for the volatility of cash flows. It’s not the base case that kills, but the occurrence of conditions other than the base case over the life of the project.

Modelling of the project is the key part of a 3-stage analytical process:

  1. Identification of circumstances in this particular project that could cause cash flow volatility - i.e. risk identification.
  2. Quantification of the cash flow impacts if those risks occur.
  3. Structuring the transaction to safeguard it from the potential occurrence of those risks.

This training session highlights model importance for other purposes such as determining the optimal financing structure or denoting feasibility through the valuation of the project.


Have this course presented In-House

  • On a date, time and in a location of your choice
  • Topics expanded or deleted to your bespoke requirements

Have this course pre-recorded

  • Full course recording edited exclusively for your company
  • Files converted to enable housing on your LMS
Trusted By:

We use cookies

In order to show you courses tailored to your profession we use cookies.

To enjoy all the features of this website please accept.