Panda Power Funds, a Dallas-based private equity firm, said Friday that it has acquired and financed Moxie Energy‘s planned power plant located in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. The plant expects to be operational by the middle of 2016. Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital, Union Bank and Investec arranged the senior debt financing of the plant.
DALLAS — December 20, 2013 — Panda Power Funds today announced that it has completed the acquisition and successful financing of Moxie Energy’s planned 829-MW natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle “Patriot” generating station, located in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. When completed, the Patriot project will be the second new power plant in the Keystone State — after Panda’s “Liberty” power plant — specifically developed to take advantage of its proximity to the Marcellus Shale. Panda will immediately start construction on the 85-acre site and expects commercial operations to begin by the middle of 2016.
Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital, Union Bank and Investec acted as joint lead arrangers for the senior debt financing of the plant. Panda Patriot raised debt capital totaling $651.5 million. Panda Liberty, financed in August of this year, raised debt capital totaling $627 million. The Patriot transaction marks the fifth financing of a large-scale power facility by Panda Power Funds in 17 months. The fund is supplying equity for the Patriot project along with a large institutional co-investor.
The Patriot project is Panda Power Fund’s second development acquisition from Moxie Energy in the PJM Interconnection.
“There’s no grass growing under our feet. I’m extremely proud of a Panda team that has closed five deals of this size in 17 months,” said Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner of Panda Power Funds. “I am also pleased to add another Pennsylvania project to our portfolio. Using natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, the Panda Patriot generating station will provide clean, low-cost power to Pennsylvanians for generations to come.
“Panda performs exhaustive due diligence, and when it’s time to act, they move quickly,” said Aaron Samson, chief executive officer of Moxie Energy. “We’ve enjoyed working with them through both acquisitions.”
The Panda Patriot project has been strategically sited on the Marcellus Shale, estimated to be the second largest natural gas field in the world. The Marcellus contains up to a projected 330 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, or the equivalent of 115 years of production at current levels. The Patriot project’s proximity to such a large supply of natural gas is expected to provide a significant operating cost advantage for the power plant.
The Patriot plant will utilize Siemens H-class gas turbines — the world’s first generation technology to achieve combined-cycle net operating efficiencies of greater than 60 percent. The two single shaft power trains will make the Patriot plant one of the cleanest, most efficient natural gas-fueled power plants in the United States. In addition, unlike approximately 95 percent of the nation’s generating facilities, the plant will be cooled with air rather than water. As a result, the Patriot plant will not draw water from, or discharge water into, the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River — eliminating potential impacts to species in the Susquehanna watershed.
The Patriot plant will make a significant economic contribution to the area during construction and the facility’s first 10 years of operation. Approximately 500 jobs will be created to construct the Patriot power plant at peak construction. During operations, the generating station will create an estimated 27 skilled jobs to operate the facility and 45 indirect jobs within the community to support the plant.
Gemma-Lane will serve as the project EPC Contractor and Siemens Energy Inc. will provide the power island package, including the gas turbines, steam turbines and heat recovery steam generators. Gemma-Lane will be responsible for installing the power island equipment and for the engineering, procurement and installation of the balance of the plant, and the commissioning of the facility. Construction will take approximately 30 months.
South Jersey Resources Group, a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries, Inc., is the contracted gas supplier for the plant.
The generating station will be located in Clinton Township in Lycoming County, approximately 125 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When completed, the generating station will be able to supply the power needs of up to 1 million homes in Pennsylvania.
About Panda Power Funds
Founded in 2010, Panda Power Funds is a private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas, which has the ability to develop, acquire, construct, finance and operate large-scale, natural gas- fueled power generation facilities. Panda has five combined-cycle power plants currently under construction in Texas and Pennsylvania with a total capacity of nearly 4,000 megawatts and has announced a 750-MW combined-cycle power plant in Northern Virginia and an 859-MW power facility in Southern Maryland. The fund built a 20-megawatt solar farm in Southwest New Jersey that is one of the largest solar facilities in the Northeast United States. Additional information on Panda Power Funds can be found at www.pandafunds.com.
About The Siemens Energy Sector
The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a broad spectrum of products, services and solutions for power generation in thermal power plants and using renewables, power transmission in grids and for the extraction, processing and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2013 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of EUR26.6 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR28.8 billion and posted a profit of approximately EUR2 billion. On September 30, 2013, the Energy Sector had a work force of approximately 83,500. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/energy.
About Moxie Energy
Moxie Energy, LLC is a private development firm formed in 2009, which has a demonstrated capability to develop large complex power generation projects. Additional information on Moxie Energy can be found at www.moxieenergy.com.
Gemma-Lane brings together the strengths of two highly experienced construction organizations. Gemma Power Systems is a full service EPC contractor with the proven ability of designing, building and commissioning over 10,000 MW of large-scale clean gas-fired and renewable energy projects. Gemma Power Systems, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Argan Inc. (NYSE: AGX) and is one of the largest power contractors in the Northeastern US. Currently ranked as 43rd on Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) ‘Top 400 Contractors’ list, The Lane Construction Corporation is one of America’s premier heavy civil contractors. With experience in the shale gas industry, Lane is committed to providing a responsible and comprehensive approach to develop America’s domestic energy resources. Additional information about Gemma-Lane Patriot Partners and its parent companies can be found at www.Gemma-Lane.com
About South Jersey Resources Group
South Jersey Resources Group, a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries’ non-regulated businesses, markets natural gas storage, commodity and transportation assets on a wholesale basis in the mid-Atlantic, Appalachian and southern states.