AboitizPower secures $300-million loan facility

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ABOITIZ Power Corp. has signed a facility agreement with four foreign banks to obtain a loan amounting up to $300 million, the energy company told the stock exchange on Wednesday.

“The proceeds of the loan will be used to partially finance the acquisition by AboitizPower of 49% voting stake and 60% economic stake in AA Thermal, Inc.,” the company said.

The lending banks are DBS Bank Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., MUFG Bank, Ltd., and Standard Chartered Bank.

AboitizPower signed the share purchase agreement to acquire the AA Thermal stake for $579.2 million on Sept. 26, 2018 with Arlington Mariveles Netherlands Holding B.V., an affiliate of the Ayala-led AC Energy, Inc.

The AA Thermal platform initially consists of AC Energy’s limited partnership interests in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. and in GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. where AboitizPower, through its subsidiary Therma Power, Inc., already holds direct partnership interests.

The acquisition was approved by the Philippine Competition Commission on Feb. 28, 2019, and completion is based on satisfaction of the remaining conditions precedent.

AboitizPower bought AC Energy’s thermal platform as part of its goal to reach 4,000-megawatts (MW) in net attributable capacity by 2020 through a balanced mix strategy.

GNPower Mariveles is the owner and operator of an operating two-unit coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan each with a capacity of 316 MW. GNPower-Dinginin is developing a supercritical coal-fired power plant with two identical units with a net capacity of 668 MW each.

Once the transaction is completed, the acquisition will increase AboitizPower’s ownership in the Mariveles coal plant to 78.325%, and in the Dinginin coal plant project to 70%. The Mariveles plant has been operating since 2013

The first unit of the Dinginin plant is expected to go online in October 2019, data from the Department of Energy show. The second unit is expected to start commercial operation in June 2020.

On Wednesday, shares in AboitizPower rose 3.10% to close at P36.60 each. — Victor V. Saulon