Meralco-Thai firm joint venture secures P42-B loan for Quezon coal power plant

by Danessa O. Rivera – December 2, 2015 – 12:00am

from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL), the joint venture between Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Thailand’s Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. (EGCO), has secured a P42.15-billion loan from a consortium of local banks to bankroll the construction of its supercritical coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon.

The omnibus agreement for the project funding recently signed is the biggest all-peso project finance facility in the country to-date, SBPL said in a statement.

The lenders consist of BDO Unibank Inc., China Banking Corp., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Philippine National Bank, and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

BDO Unibank-Trust and Investments Group served as the loan facility agent while Metrobank-Trust Banking Group acted as collateral trustee for the transaction.

SBPL appointed BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp. as joint bookrunners and joint issue coordinators.

Meanwhile, joint lead arrangers are Chinabank, PNB Capital and Investment Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp.

Proceeds of the loan will be used to fund the construction of SBPL’s 460-megawatt (MW) coal power project, which will be the first in the country to utilize state-of-the-art super-critical technology.

Supercritical coal-fired power plants operate at higher pressures leading to higher efficiencies and significant reductions in emissions over the expected life of the plant.

Project proponents target to start operating the plant commercially in the first half of 2019, providing efficient and reliable baseload supply for electricity consumers in Luzon.

The electricity generated by SBPL’s plant will be sold to Meralco under a 20-year power supply agreement approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission last May.

SBPL is a joint venture of Meralco’s power generation arm Meralco Power Gen Corp. (MGen) at 51 percent and EGCO’s subsidiary New Growth BV. at 49 percent.