Conduit Capital Backs Jamaican Plant Development

Conduit Capital Partners, the New York-based private equity firm, will spend $127 million to support the development of a power plant in West Kingston, Jamaica. The PE firm is investing from its Latin Power III fund, which it launched in 2005 and is approximately 50% deployed. The project will be managed by the PE firm’s Jamaica Energy Partners.

PRESS RELEASE:

Conduit Capital Partners LLC, a private equity investment firm focused on energy infrastructure investment and development in Latin America and the Caribbean, today announced that it will build a $127 million power plant in West Kingston, Jamaica.

The thermal power plant, which will initially run on oil but can also be fitted to run on natural gas, is a greenfield project. Construction work for the 66 megawatt plant has begun and the project is expected to achieve commercial operation in early 2012. The project is operated and managed by Conduit’s Jamaica Energy Partners on behalf of its sister company West Kingston Power Partners (WKPP). In 2008, WKPP won a public RFP for the supply of power under a long-term power sales contract with the local utility, Jamaica Public Service Co.

Juan Páez, a partner at Conduit Capital said: “We have worked closely with the Jamaican government and the independent regulator for more than two years under very difficult market volatility; this project represents a first step for the government under a highly ambitious plan to ensure the country remains globally competitive through the improvement of its existing infrastructure and the reduction of today’s high energy costs. We look forward to building a plant that positions Jamaica on a path for success.”

Financing for the project is being provided by IFC and a diverse group of institutions who have come together to support this project: Bank of Nova Scotia and First Caribbean International Bank, Finnvera, the export credit agency of Finland; and four development finance organizations: DEG of Germany; FMO of the Netherlands; CAF, the Andean Development Bank; and CIFI, the regional infrastructure development bank.

“This project shows Conduit’s ability to execute across market conditions,” said Scott Swensen, Chairman of Conduit. “In the Jamaican market, where the government is supportive of foreign investment in infrastructure, developed projects are nonexistent. Greenfield is the only approach here and we have the local presence to win bids and build, and the financial expertise to secure appropriate financing.”

Jamaica Energy Partners consists of two diesel barges that together produce 124 megawatts. Conduit’s Latin Power III fund repurchased JEP in June 2009 after liquidating its original investment in the company in 2007.

About Conduit Capital Partners
Based in New York City, Conduit Capital Partners, LLC is a private investment firm focused exclusively on energy infrastructure investment and development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through its management of the Latin Power Funds, Conduit has made investments in Mexico, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Jamaica, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Founded in 1993, Latin Power I was the first private equity fund exclusively dedicated to infrastructure investments and the first institutional sized private equity firm dedicated to Latin America. www.conduitcap.com