GE and YPF Secure Financing for Two FastPower Projects in Argentina
General Electric (NYSE: GE), through its energy investing unit GE Energy Financial Services, and YPF Energia Electrica, a wholly owned subsidiary of YPF S.A. (NYSE: YPF), have secured an approximate $220 million project financing for two jointly owned thermal power projects in Argentina, the 267-MW Tucuman and 107-MW Loma Campana II projects. Citi, Credit Suisse and Export Development Canada (EDC) jointly led the financing, which represent the first power plant project financing in Argentina in almost 20 years.
Tucuman and Loma Campana II are both more than halfway through construction. The Tucuman project, located in Tucuman province, will be powered by a GE 9F.04 gas turbine and will begin commercial operations in February 2018. The Loma Compana II project, located in Neuquen province, will be powered by a GE LMS100 gas turbine and will begin commercial operations in December 2017. GE is the EPC contractor for both projects.
Once operational, each project will benefit from a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state-run wholesale electricity market administrator Compania Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Electrico SA (CAMMESA). The PPAs were awarded in 2016 as part of the Government of Argentina's 'Fast Power' tender. The tender was the first of a series aimed at displacing expensive and inefficient generating capacity, and quickly increasing the country's electricity reserve margin.
In response to Argentina's energy environment, President Mauricio Macri has enacted several reforms and implemented new energy policies aimed at increasing electricity supply in the short term, and changing the country's energy mix in the long term. The significant capital requirements for the ongoing and upcoming power tenders are likely to exceed the appetite of local lenders and draw participation by international lenders seeking to return to Argentina, and revive the market for non-recourse project finance.
"This project finance is an important milestone for YPF as it completes the funding of all our power projects under construction, therefore proving the ability of YPF Energia Electrica to continue to grow with its own balance sheet", said Daniel Gonzalez, YPF's Chief Financial Officer.
GE Energy Financial Services' Global Capital Advisory team, which sources financing from third parties including export credit agencies, development finance institutions and other equity providers and commercial banks, led the debt raise for Tucuman and Loma Campana on behalf of the sponsors.
“GE's technology, global reach and capital expertise enabled a successful outcome for Argentina's initial fast power tender and for an important GE customer, YPF,”Bob Psaradellis
managing director, Global Capital Advisory, GE Energy Financial Services.
Daniel Castagnola, managing director, Latin America, GE Energy Financial Services, added, "There is a strong pipeline of projects in Argentina and Latin America broadly and we look forward to partnering with more international project finance lenders in the region."
As part of the Government of Argentina's 'Fast Power' tender in 2016, GE provided equipment to seven projects totaling 896 megawatts comprising 9F, LMS100 andTM2500 gas turbines.
YPF is the leading energy company of Argentina, producing 43% of the total oil and gas in the country and supplying 56% of the fuel markets through a network of 1500 gas stations and other assets. YPF is leader in the production of unconventional resources. It is an integrated energy company that generates a large offering consisting of natural gas, electricity, fuels, petrochemicals, lubricants and products for agriculture, among others. www.ypf.com
About GE Energy Financial Services
A strategic GE Capital business, GE Energy Financial Services is a global energy investor that provides financial solutions that help meet the world's energy needs. Drawing on its technical know-how, financial strength and strong risk management, GE Energy Financial Services invests in long-lived and capital intensive projects and companies. The firm has 35+ years of experience managing energy assets through multiple economic cycles, and a global portfolio that spans conventional and renewable power, and oil and gas infrastructure projects.
More information: www.geenergyfinancialservices.com; Twitter: @GEEnergyFinServ
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