MGen, partner get funds for 500-MW plant

by Riza T. Olchondra – December 2nd, 2015 03:22 AM

from Philippine Daily Inquirer

Developers of a 500-megawatt (gross) supercritical coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon province have secured P42.15 billion in funding from a consortium of local banks.

Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), a subsidiary of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), is developing the project through San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL). SBPL is a joint venture with New Growth B.V., a 98-percent owned subsidiary of Thailand’s Electricity Generating Public Co. or Egco, forged in August 2013.

In a statement, SBPL said it had signed an omnibus agreement for the project funding, the biggest peso project finance facility in the country to date.

The senior-term loan lenders are BDO Unibank, Inc.; China Banking Corp. (Chinabank); Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank); Philippine National Bank (PNB); 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.

In the meantime, BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp. were appointed joint bookrunners and joint issue coordinators. Together with Chinabank, PNB Capital and Investment Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp. were tje joint lead arrangers for the transaction.

A ceremonial signing was held on Nov. 27 in Makati City.

Proceeds of the loan will be used to fund the construction of SBPL’s coal power project, which will be the first in the country to use state-of-the-art supercritical technology.

Compared to subcritical power plants, 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.

Once it starts commercial operations in the first half of 2019, the SBPL plant will provide 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 that was approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this year.

MGen has a 51-percent stake in the SBPL project and the rest is held by Egco through New Growth.

The new 460-MW facility is in the same site as the existing 460-MW coal plant owned by Quezon Power Philippines Ltd., which is majority controlled by Egco.