Sat | Sep 23, 2017

NCB structures US$330m financing for LNG plant

Published:Sunday | April 16, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Brian Boothe, head of corporate banking at NCB.

National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCB) was selected as lead arranger by Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) and its subsidiary, South Jamaica Power Company Limited (SJPC), to structure financing for the 190 megawatt LNG power plant that will be operated as an independent power provider or IPP.

SJPC broke ground April 7 for the gas-fired plant being developed at Old Harbour in St Catherine.

The project, funded by syndicated loan and bonds, is valued at US$330 million, and is the product of a first-time partnership among local and regional financial institutions to fund a large-scale project, said the bank in a release.

When operational, the Old Harbour IPP will be the largest single contributor to Jamaica's energy grid, contributing up to 20 per cent of the national power supply. The TSK Group has been contracted to construct the plant.

"We came on board as we recognise the value the project will bring to further developing the region's financial markets. It demonstrates to multilateral lending agencies and international finance houses, NCB's capacity to lead the financing of capital-intensive initiatives across the Caribbean," said Brian Boothe, general manager for corporate banking at NCB.

"Also, it is important to us that JPS and its major shareholders, Marubeni Corp-oration and Korea East West Power, after shopping around the financial markets around the world for the most attractive financing deal to build this new power plant facility, chose NCB," he said.

The loans and bonds will mature in 12 years and 15 years, respectively. The financing structure also provides JPS with cash flow relief during construction and initial years of operation of the plant by delaying payments on principal during the earlier years of the facilities.

NCB said it also funded New Fortress Energy, the entity that brought LNG to Jamaica's shores, and is JPS' gas supply partner.

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