Panda Power Funds acquires 2nd Pennsylvania natgas-fired project
HOUSTON Dec 20 (Reuters) - Panda Power Funds of Dallas said Friday it will begin construction immediately on its second 829-MW natural gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, both projects acquired from Moxie Energy LLC.
The Panda Patriot generating station will be built on an 85-acre site in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, a site designed to take advantage of abundant gas resources from the Marcellus Shale.
The Patriot power plant is expected to begin commercial operation in mid-2016, Panda said.
Panda has 4,000 MW of gas-fired generation under construction in Texas and Pennsylvania and has announced a 750-MW gas plant in northern Virginia and an 859-MW plan in Southern Maryland.
"There's no grass growing under our feet," said Todd W. Carter, president of Panda Power Funds. "I am also pleased to add another Pennsylvania project to our portfolio."
In August, Panda acquired the Liberty generating project from Moxie. Like the Patriot station, Liberty will be an 829-MW plant. It is being built in Bradford County, Pennsylvania.
When completed, Panda's plants will increase generation in the PJM Interconnection, helping offset as much as 20,000 megawatts of aging coal-fired generation scheduled for retirement due to stricter federal environmental controls and economics.
The Patriot project marks the fifth financing of a large power facility by Panda Power Funds in 17 months, officials said.
Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital , Union Bank and Investec acted as joint lead arrangers for the senior debt financing for the Patriot project.
Panda Power Funds is supplying equity for the project along with a large institutional co-investor.
Panda Patriot raised debt capital totaling $651.5 million. Panda Liberty, financed in August of this year, raised debt capital totaling $627 million.
Gemma-Lane will act as engineering and construction contractor and Siemens Energy Inc will provide Siemens H-class natural gas turbines, the steam turbine and waste heat recovery boilers, Panda said in a statement.
Construction will take about 30 months.
Across the country, utilities and power plant developers are planning more than 50,000 MW of new generation in the next decade. For a factbox on proposed new U.S. gas-fired power plants and coal conversions click on. (Reporting by Eileen O'Grady in Houston; Editing by Gary Hill)
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