HOUSTON Aug 22 Panda Power Funds will begin
construction immediately on an 829-MW natural gas-fired power
plant in Pennsylvania after acquiring the project from Moxie
Energy and completing financing, Panda said on Thursday.
The Panda Liberty generating station will be built on a
33-acre site in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Commercial
operations are expected to begin by early 2016.
It is Panda's second project in the PJM Interconnection, the
largest U.S. power market. Earlier this week, Panda announced
plans to build an 859-MW gas-fired plant in Maryland, subject to
financing and other conditions.
When completed, the plants will increase generation in the
PJM Interconnection, helping offset the scheduled retirement of
as much as 20,000 megawatts of aging coal-fired generation due
to stricter federal environmental controls and economics. The
location will also take advantage of growing gas supplies from
the Marcellus Shale gas formation.
The Liberty transaction marks the fourth financing of a
large-scale power facility by Dallas-based Panda Power Funds in
13 months, officials said.
Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Ares
Capital arranged the senior debt financing for the
Liberty plant. Union Bank was the documentation agent.
It is the first investment of Panda Fund II, which is
supplying equity for the Liberty project along with a large
"After looking at a number of opportunities in PJM, we were
impressed with the project and the caliber of work done by Moxie
Energy," said Todd W. Carter, Panda Power Funds president.
Gemma-Lane Liberty Partners 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.
Panda is currently building two power plants in Texas with
more than 2,200 megawatts of capacity. The plants are scheduled
to come online in 2014 and 2015 to meet the state's growing
appetite for electricity.