Paul Hastings Closes US$544 Million Refinancing of the Santa Rita Power Project in the Philippines
Hong Kong (November 20, 2008) – The Asian Projects Group of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker announced today that it has successfully closed the US$544 million refinancing of the 1,000 MW gas-fired Santa Rita power project in the Philippines. Paul Hastings advised the borrower, First Gas Power Corporation, which is owned 60 per cent by First Gen Corporation and 40 per cent by British Gas. The deal was signed on November 11, 2008 and funded on November 14, 2008.
Patricia Tan Openshaw, the Paul Hastings corporate partner who led the team, commented: “We are privileged to have represented First Gas on this refinancing and to have successfully closed a transaction of this nature particularly under the current market conditions. Given the tightening global credit markets as well as the limited availability of private political risk insurance, completion of this transaction is a testimony to the quality of the project and the commitment of the sponsors and the banks involved.”
The First Gas refinancing comprises a covered commercial tranche and an uncovered commercial tranche representing US$500 million of new financing, and a HERMES covered tranche of US$44 million from the original project debt in 1997. The covered commercial tranche benefits from political risk insurance provided by various private insurance companies.
The new loans were financed on a club basis by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Calyon, KfW IPEX Bank GmbH, ING Bank N.V., Singapore branch, Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank AG, Hong Kong branch, Malayan Banking Berhad, Standard Chartered Bank and Société Générale Asia Limited. Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau remains as the lender under the HERMES tranche. Post-closing syndication is currently underway which could increase the final amount of the refinancing.
The Santa Rita power plant owned by First Gas has a power purchase agreement in place until 2025 with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), which supplies 60 per cent of the electricity sold on the key Luzon grid, including Manila.
The Paul Hastings team consisted of Patricia Tan Openshaw, Cristina Uy-Tioco, Warrick Price, Juliet Taylor, Steven DeGracia, trainee Wingyan Ng and legal assistant James Ireland from the Hong Kong office, assisted by Norman Futami and Carl Anderson from the Los Angeles office and Joseph Kim from the Tokyo office.
Paul Hastings’ Global Projects Group received four consecutive Project Deal of the Year awards for Asia from 2004 to 2007 for the following: the first LNG project in the PRC, Guangdong LNG (2004), the Petronet LNG (2005), the Tangguh LNG projects (2006) and TEPCO-Marubeni's acquisition of Mirant's power business in the Philippines (2007).
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