Solid performance of MPC Caribbean Clean Energy key assets in Q1 of 2021
Paradise solar park in Jamaica meets expectations despite difficult circumstances

Caribbean-based renewable energy company MPC Caribbean Clean Energy is reporting solid performance in its regional operations during the first quarter of 2021.

The company, which is crossed listed on the Jamaican and Trinidad Stock Exchanges, saw its first quarter ended March 31 attaining a few key activities. These activities were the culmination of main events that began in 2020.

These include the completion and successful commissioning of San Isidro, a 6.5 MW solar park in El Salvador, which was successfully acquired by its investment company, MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund LLC, in the first quarter of 2021. In addition, the clearance of the subscription of the capital raised via convertible note is being finalised and the additional US$10 million is expected to be invested in MPC Caribbean Clean Energy Fund LLC in the second quarter of 2021.

Solid performance energy assets in spite of weather conditions

During the quarter, the underlying assets of the company showed solid performance considering adverse weather conditions and operational challenges due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The company's Earnings Before Interest, Taxes and Amortization (EBITA), which is a measure of company profitability used by investors, came in at a healthy US$1.81 million with energy output variation of minus 7.37 per cent and a weighted average availability of 97.75 per cent.

The asset operations showed solid performance in Q1 2021 such as Paradise Park in Jamaica, where the technical performance of the solar park in Jamaica met the expectations, despite difficult circumstances. The plant availability and the production output were above target.

The Tilawind wind farm in Costa Rica experienced low levels of wind but achieved good results and is slightly below the expected target. The plant availability for Tilawind was also above expectations.

Adverse tariff changes

However, at the beginning of 2021, the Costa Rican Government-run electricity and telecommunications services regulator informed about changing the methodology for tariff band calculation for all wind farms in Costa Rica and therefore, the tariff for 2021 calendar year has been reduced effective as of February 10, 2021. As of Q1 2021, Caribbean Clean Energy Fund LLC is in the process of assessing the commercial impact on revenues and is consulting with its legal advisor and the Costa Rican Renewable Energy Association.

San Isidro plant production below target

The recently commissioned solar park in El Salvador is slightly underperforming with a plant availability and production output below target. However, this is not unusual during the start-up phase in the first year.

Correction measures have been taken and should lead to an improvement in the relevant key figures and thus show positive results in a timely manner. Commenting out the outlook for the rest of the year, Chairman Fernando Zuniga remarked, “we are optimistic about the coming quarters. The company plans to further diversify its portfolio and optimise its asset performance in order to present sustained good results for the company's shareholders. “

Referring to the constantly ongoing pandemic, Zuniga says, “the company sees itself well prepared for future challenges, due to proven measures. I thank our shareholders and my fellow directors for their support and trust during this precedent period. “

BY DURRANT PATE Observer business writer

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