Latin America: MRP hires banker to raise capital for Chilean renewable platform 

06 September 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

Irish developer Mainstream Renewable Power (MRP) hired KPMG to sell equity stakes in its Chilean renewable platform, Inframation has learned.

The platform, Andes Renovables, contains three renewable portfolios, comprising seven wind farms and three solar parks.

The first portfolio, with a combined capacity of roughly 550MW, is anticipated to reach financial close in 1Q19. The following two are expected to obtain financing during 2019, according to a source close to the situation.

The sponsor has been talking with CaixaBank, DNB, ING, KfW IPEX-Bank, MUFG, Natixis, Société Générale and SMBC to raise approximately USD 540m in debt for the construction of three wind farms and a solar park, aiming for up to an 80:20 debt-to-equity ratio on the portfolio, Inframation reported.

Differently from other already operational renewable energy assets that have been put on sale by other companies, these portfolios were created taking into account an environment of lower electricity prices and the expectation that these might keep falling, another source briefed pointed out.

The seven wind farms included in the portfolios won respective 20-year power-purchase-agreements (PPA) in Chile’s 2016 energy auction, which resulted in average prices of USD 47.6 per MWh. The financing of the solar parks included will fall under the umbrella of these PPAs, without adding extra merchant risk, the source briefed said.

It is understood that the technological and geographical diversification of assets in the portfolio helps to improve the risk profile of the portfolio.

The first and largest portfolio now seeking financing includes the 185MW Cerro Tigre and 155MW Tchamma wind farms in the northern Antofagasta Region, the 84MW Alena wind project in the central Biobío Region and the 130MW Escondido solar park in the northern Atacama Region.

When MPR signed contracts with the National Energy Commission (CNE) to build and operate seven wind energy plants with a combined capacity of 986MW, the announced estimated investment reached USD 1.65bn.

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