JEP's 50MW expansion barge to arrive early Dec - Jamaica
Thursday, December 1, 2005 13:54 (GMT -0400)

Jamaican power generation company Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP) has nearly completed construction of a 49.5MW barge in Singapore that should be shipped to the island the first week of December, Juan Paez, vice-president and investment manager at JEP's majority investor Conduit Capital Partners, told BNamericas.

The new barge will be located 200 feet alongshore JEP's existing 74.2MW barge-mounted power generation plant in Jamaica's Old Harbour, which has been operational since 1995. The barge will bring JEP's generating capacity up to about 123MW, or 20% of Jamaica's capacity.

All interconnection and civil works to accommodate the new barge are already complete and JEP should start testing the barge a few days after its arrival, which is scheduled before the end of the year.

Commercial operations are slated for February 15.

JEP sells all of its energy to public utility and grid operator Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) and decided to expand its generation capacity in light of a healthy domestic market, an annual 5% demand growth and a growing economy, Paez said.

JEP refinanced its existing US$23mn debt with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and took out an additional 15-year US$50mn IFC loan, bringing its total debt to about US$78mn including contingencies for project construction risk, JEP said in a statement.

JEP is using its balance sheet and existing cashflows to fully finance the new barge and "the lenders have recognized the solid performance of the company in managing the existing units, which gave them the confidence to pursue this project," the statement said.

JEP has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the full 123MW with JPSCo, Paez said.

JEP renegotiated its existing PPA with JPSCo that was set to expire in 2015, lowering the payment and thus giving JPSCo the motivation to engage in the 20-year term PPA with the entire 123MW facility, Paez added.

The equity investors in JEP are Latin Power Funds (LPF, formerly known as Scudder Latin American Power Funds, 62.6%), Caribbean Basin Power Fund (CBPF, 36.4%) and Wartsila (1%). LPF is managed by Conduit Capital Partners.

By David Biller



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