New Fortress Energy raises US$180m to complete Clarendon power facility

Sunday, September 08, 2019

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New Fortress Energy, the sole supplier of natural gas to Jamaica, has completed the first phase of its US$180 million bond issue, arranged by National Commercial Bank (NCB) Capital Markets.

The American company issued US$117 million worth of bonds on September 5, 2019, and has a commitment from NCB Capital Market to purchase the remaining US$63 million of bonds upon completion of construction of its combined heat and power Jamalco facility in Clarendon, and the satisfaction of certain related conditions, which are currently expected in the first quarter of 2020.

The bond issue was targeted at institutional investors from around the region and represents one of the largest raises in the Caribbean. Net proceeds from the bond issue will be used to complete the construction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Jamalco and to reimburse shareholder advances made by New Fortress.

The 150- megawatt plant at Jamalco is set for testing and receiving its first LNG deliveries by the fourth quarter of 2019. The run rate will start in the first quarter of 2020. New Fortress, which is listed on the Nasdaq exchange, owns two LNG terminals in Montego Bay, St James, and Old Harbour, St Catherine.

The bond issue was made by New Fortress subsidiary, NFE South Power Holdings Limited and made through NCB Capital Markets, Jamaica and NCB Capital Markets, Cayman.

Under the facility, the company plans to issue up to US$180 million of bonds comprising up to US$136.3 million of 8.25 per cent secured long-term fixed-rate bonds, due 2034 and up to US$43.7 million of 11 per cent unsecured long-term fixed-rate bonds, due 2036.

Commenting on the successful first phase on the bond issue, New Fortress chairman and CEO Wes Edens said, “we are very pleased to partner with National Commercial Bank Capital Markets and the investment community in the Caribbean for the financing of the region's first large scale gas-fired, co-generation power plant. We wanted to enhance our partnership with Jamaica by giving investors a stake in this historic achievement by the country”.

He remarked, “Jamaica continues to be a model for the Caribbean, and we're looking forward to turning on the plant in the coming months.”

For its part NCB Capital Market Chief Executive Officer, Steven Gooden said, “NCB Capital Markets has decided to partner with New Fortress because of the work that they have been doing across the region and in different parts of the world in bringing cleaner and cheaper energy sources to consumers.”

— Durrant Pate


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