Macquarie Capital to fund second Mexican CCGT plant

14 March 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

Macquarie Capital´s SPV Tamazunchale Energía is raising an up to USD 280m loan to fund construction of its 560MW CCGT thermal power plant project in Mexico, three sources briefed on the situation said.

The sponsor sent a request for proposal in the week of 11 March to a group of lenders, expecting to finance the project with a ratio of slightly more than 50% of debt. Sources declined to clarify other details of the structure, such as tenor or pricing, but said that at least two banks were likely to sign mandates soon to structure the deal and potentially launch a syndication later.

Macquarie Capital was also understood to be searching for an equity partner for the project, a fourth source told Inframation.

The combined-cycle gas-fired Tamazunchale has a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with a private offtaker that covers roughly the output of 250MW of capacity. Ammper, a Mexican power distribution and trading business owned by UK-based asset manager InfraRed and Mexican financial services company Invex, is understood to be the private offtaker.

The combined-cycle gas-fired power plant will be built in the locality of Tamazunchale, in the state of San Luis Potosí, and it is slated to become operational in May 2021, for a cost of roughly USD 400m, according to the generation permit disclosed by Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE).

Macquarie Capital previously financed in 2017 the USD 983m-924MW CCGT Norte III power plant in a consortium with Italo-Argentine developer Techint. That USD 716m financing package, including the miniperm facility, was closed with Natixis and SMBC as coordinating lead arrangers of the transaction, in addition to Bancomext, Crédit Agricole, EDC, Intesa Sanpaolo, KDB, KfW-IPEX Bank and Norinchukin Bank.

British infrastructure investor InfraRed acquired a 35.5% stake in the Norte III project from Macquarie, alongside Mexican co-investor Invex bought an additional 10% stake, later in 2017.

Mexico’s goal to reach a 50% of cleaner electricity matrix for 2050 should create a path for gas-based thermal projects to serve as a transition technology into a renewable energy power grid, sources said regarding the sponsor’s push to invest in a project with considerable merchant exposure. Macquarie Capital has made the case that as power demand grows in the country, and its electricity matrix heavily relies on fossil fuels, gas-based electricity should remain competitive still for a long time, sources added.

Macquarie Capital declined comment on the situation. 


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