Published April 25, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Lopez-owned First Gen Corporation has secured $500-million debt facility to refinance outstanding obligations still due to its 1,000-megawatt Santa Rita gas-fired power project.
The credit facility, according to the company, has seven-year term and it was secured from six banks – namely Bank of Commerce, Bank of Philippine Islands, BDO Unibank Inc., Philippine National Bank, Security Bank Corporation; and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation-Singapore Branch.
First Gen said “the proceeds of the loan will be used to repay the amounts due on First Gas’ existing debt of approximately $243 million.”
The company added “the net proceeds of the refinancing will be used to pay down a portion of First Gen’s existing loans, as well as pre-fund its upcoming maturities.”
First Gen President and COO Francis Giles B. Puno noted the new loan facility is a testament that “our lenders continue to be supportive of our endeavors to deliver clean and cost-efficient power to Filipinos.”
The Santa Rita power plant is the first gas-fired generating facility that the Lopez group developed – to take advantage then of the development of commercial gas from the Malampaya field.
The gas business is a growing platform for the conglomerate – with the recent capacity additions from its 414MW San Gabriel and 97MW Avion plants. Its other project is the 500MW San Lorenzo plant.
“The natural gas platform now stands at 2,011MW and we are working hard to deliver the country’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal as well as more natural gas-fired power plants,” First Gen noted.
The company is advancing plans on the proposed onshore LNG import terminal – but this is a venture it wants to pursue with prospective partners, including that of state-owned Philippine National Oil Company.