Taqa eyes $800m project bond in March
Abu Dhabi, February 18, 2013
Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa), the state-owned energy and utility firm, plans to issue an $800 million bond next month to refinance a power and water plant, a daily newspaper reported on Monday.
Proceeds from the bond sale will be used to refinance bank debt linked to the Shuweihat S2 power plant, Taqa's chief financial officer Stephen Kersley, told The National newspaper.
"We expect to get a deal to market some time in March. It could be a $800 million deal," Kersley told the daily. "The market seems very enthusiastic to receive our paper and we expect a lot of interest as it is a landmark deal for the region."
Sources told Reuters in September that a bond, part of a $2.2 billion refinancing plan, was expected in 2012, with a final decision on timing dependent on the issuer obtaining a credit rating.
Taqa, rated A and 72.5 per cent government-owned, is a familiar name in global debt markets, and will be able to secure lower borrowing costs for what will be a rare project bond from the region. It raised $2 billion from a two-part bond sale in December.
"We think we can get a fairer pricing but also for the emirate it's important that the success of the privatisation of the energy sector is maintained," Kersley said. "By building a project market for power it makes it easier to get financing and gives lenders the chance to commit less funds in the future."
Shuweihat S2, an independent power generation and water desalination project became operational in 2011 and has a capacity for 1,500 megawatts of power.-Reuters