Frequently Asked Questions

An independent engineer, commonly called an IE, will review the technical, contractual, and financial aspects of a project to help the lenders and owners mitigate potential risks in support of project financing.

Independence is a key aspect of an Independent Engineer. Generally, the IE is hired by the lender and paid by the owner/developer, so the IE is obligated to both parties. This helps to ensure an objective review of the project.

An IE is utilized by the lenders to ensure that the project they are looking at financing is technically viable. The IE helps to ensure that appropriate mitigations strategies are implemented to offset any technical, economic, or operational risks.

While the emphasis seems to be on the lenders, a good IE will equally help the owner/developer to mitigate long term project risks.

An IE review typically covers the technical, contractual, and economic parameters for a project. This includes, but is not limited to, topics such as: project site, technology, project participants, major contracts, operations and maintenance, environmental requirements, and the technical inputs to the financial model.

The IE review is concluded with an IE Report. The IE Report details the IE's review of project, the evaluation of any technical risks, and suggested mitigation strategies for any project risks. The IE Report should present all of the details for the project in manner that is understandable by a non-technical reader.

It depends on the situation. Typical engagements include: an initial technology assessment before financing, full review for financing, or an operational assessment after financing.

Regardless of the situation, a common mistake is that an IE is engaged before all of the documentation is ready for review. This stretches out the review time and increases the costs to complete an IE review.

Short answer: Ask your IE if you're ready.

An IE review can take anywhere from a few days to many months. It depends on the depth of the review and the complexity of the project. Our standard answer is 4-8 weeks for most project financings depending on the availability of the necessary documentation.

Due to the variability of the types of reviews, most IE's charge on a time and materials basis. Therefore, the costs will vary from IE firm to IE firm. This means that it is critical to assess the qualifications and the speed in which they can complete a project reivew, as this ties back directly to cost.

At PF Engineers, we take pride in being as efficient as possible to save the client time and money. To do this, we do our best to eliminate the 'fluff' and 'weasel words' to provide a clear, concise report for our clients to save both time and money.

Yes. Whether it is a new technology or existing technology, the review methodology is very similar. It's a matter of determining that the 'Ins' and the 'Outs' match from a technical and a contractual perspective. This then ties into the financial viability of your project.

Click here to see they types of projects that we have reviewed.

This is the first question that your IE should answer. If your information (i.e. technical, contractual, operational, and financial) are readily available, then a high level answer to this should be available very quickly. However, if you ask the question, then you have to be prepared for the answer as you may not like it. It's not the IE's job to tell you what you want to hear, it is to provide an objective review of your project.

It is not recommended, but it is possible depending upon the level of risk your lender is willing to take.

A good comparison would be: 'Can you write a contract without a lawyer?' Sure you can, but it greatly increases your risk. This is the same as financing a project without an IE. IEs and lawyers are there to help mitigate risks, which should save you money in the long run.

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