Panda Power Funds has successfully financed its 778 MW Stonewall combined-cycle power plant located in an industrial-zoned area of Loudoun County, Virginia (USA).
Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, ICBC, Investec, MUFG Union Bank and Ares acted as joint lead arrangers for the senior debt financing of the plant which received a credit rating of BB- by Standard & Poor’s rating agency. Panda Stonewall raised debt capital totaling US$571 million.
Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner of Panda Power Funds stated:
“The United States is in the early stages of an energy revolution away from coal toward clean natural gas. Three years ago, Panda Power Funds set out to help drive that revolution by building the cleanest, most efficient fleet of natural gas-fueled power plants in the nation. The financing of the Stonewall plant is an important step forward in achieving that vision. Today, we have eight power projects — four are under construction, three are in operation and one is in advanced development. And we’re just getting started.”
The generating station will exclusively use pipeline quality natural gas to reduce particulate matter and air emissions. The generating station will also use reclaimed municipal waste water from the Town of Leesburg to cool the plant. Additionally, the Stonewall plant will be a “zero-liquid-discharge” power plant, returning no waste water to a treatment facility.
The Panda Stonewall facility has been strategically sited approximately 4 miles southeast of Leesburg, Virginia, in one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. The facility will be built along existing transmission lines.
Panda Power Funds acquired a majority stake in the Stonewall project from GEP/S Holdings LLC and Bechtel in May 2013. The project received its air permit in April 2013 and its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) in May 2014. Panda will immediately begin construction on the 101-acre site and expects the facility to enter commercial operations during the spring of 2017.
Panda Power Funds selected a turn-key consortium of Bechtel and Siemens Energy Inc. to build the Stonewall facility.
As a part of the contract, Siemens will provide the power island package including the natural gas turbines, steam turbine, generators, heat recovery steam generators, and instrumentation and controls systems. Bechtel will be responsible for the engineering and procurement for the balance of the plant, and the installation, construction and commissioning of the facility.
Financial Services Division of Siemens is also making a US$75 million equity investment.
The transaction marks the sixth financing of a large scale power facility by Panda Power Funds in the last three years, representing approximately US$5 billion in total combined capital.