Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) and partners Marubeni and Toyota Tsusho have closed financing with GE Energy Financial Services and 14 other lenders for the US$775 million CPV St. Charles Energy Center under construction in Waldorf, Maryland, USA.
Located 25 miles southeast of Washington, DC, the CPV St. Charles Energy Center is a state-of-the-art 725 MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant using two reliable, highly efficient GE 7F.05 Gas Turbines and a GE D400 Steam Turbine. The project will be constructed by SNC Lavalin Constructors Inc. and operated by EthosEnergy Power Plant Services, LLC.
The project will sell its capacity, energy and ancillary services into the transmission-constrained SWMAAC zone of the PJM market. The benefits of a reliable water supply for efficient wet cooling, as well as the site's proximity to PEPCO 230 kV transmission lines and the Dominion Cove Point natural gas pipeline, make this one of the most cost competitive projects in PJM.
CPV St. Charles is financed under an innovative structure similar to one CPV introduced for the CPV Woodbridge Energy Center last fall. Paul Buckovich, CPV's CFO, stated:
The CPV St. Charles debt closing represents the second time CPV has successfully employed medium-term contract financing through the commercial bank market in the past year. Where very few commercial banks would consider lending to a project with such a profile just two years ago, CPV has helped evolve the lending market to where 10 lenders supported CPV Woodbridge and 15 participated in CPV St. Charles. The significant oversubscription of the CPV St. Charles senior debt package underscores the market's acceptance and appetite for innovative project finance structures, such as those at CPV Woodbridge and CPV St. Charles.
GE Energy Financial Services served as the administrative agent, and — through GE Capital Markets, Inc. — as CPV St. Charles' primary lead arranger and bookrunner to anchor US$550 million in senior secured credit facilities. GE Energy Financial Services has syndicated over US$2 billion in thermal power plant financing over the last 12 months.
Included in the project's US$260 million GE equipment and services order is the company's FlexEfficiency™ 60 combined-cycle engineered equipment package. The package comprises two, fast-start 225-megawatt 7F.05 gas turbine generators, one D400 steam turbine generator in a "2x1" configuration and two duct-fired, triple-pressure reheat heat recovery steam generators. GE also will support the long-term availability of the CPV St. Charles Energy Center through a 16-year contractual services agreement (CSA).
Once constructed and operational, the CPV St. Charles Energy Center will be one of the most efficient combined-cycle facilities in PJM.