(Golar LNG, 25.Aug.2018) — Golar Power Limited’s affiliate, CELSE, closed a $1.34 billion financing facility for the Sergipe project.
On April 19, CELSE, the 50% Golar Power owned project company responsible for delivering the Sergipe I power project, executed a $1.34 billion non-recourse project finance facility. Excluding the FSRU facility, proceeds will fund remaining interest costs and capital expenditures for the project. Equity contributions from CELSE’s controlling partners, including Golar Power, have also been fully paid in. Assuming no dispatch under the Power Purchase Agreements, forecast annual EBITDA (1) from the power project (of which Golar is entitled to a 25% interest which will be reported as “equity in net earnings of affiliates” in the consolidated statements of income) including inflation uplifts to date is BRL 1.16 billion, equivalent to approximately $306 million at a USD/BRL rate of 3.8. Payments under the executed PPA are inflation indexed over the 25-year term and provide for pass-through of fuel costs when the power plant is called upon to dispatch. Around 94% of the project finance facility is also BRL denominated. This reduces net debt to $1.21 billion at the same USD/BRL rate, thus creating a natural hedge for currency movements.
The project, 66% complete by the end of July, is on schedule to commence operations on January 1, 2020. In excess of 2,000 workers are currently on site which is operating 24/7. Prefabricated GE modules, including generators and boilers, are being installed, transmission lines and pylons are being erected and the pipeline connecting the power station to the FSRU mooring is currently being laid.
Additional to the forecast annual EBITDA from the power project, the FSRU is expected to generate annual US CPI adjusted EBITDA of approximately US$41.0 million (of which Golar is entitled to a 50% interest which will be reported as “equity in net earnings of affiliates” in the consolidated statements of income). A financing commitment for the FSRU Nanook, due to deliver from the yard shortly, has been received and documentation is in its final stages. Net of the final FSRU delivery installment, the facility is expected to release approximately $70 million of cash to Golar Power.
The FSRU Nanook will, when it commences operations in 2019, represent the only entry point for LNG into Brazil outside Petrobras. Access to significant spare FSRU capacity could facilitate the supply of gas directly into the Brazilian grid as well as support a distribution hub for small scale distribution of LNG. The Company sees a number of very attractive opportunities to substitute expensive fuel based energy demand with cheaper and more environmentally friendly LNG solutions. The initial focus will be to target diesel to LNG conversions in the trucking industry as well as tailor-made LNG logistics solutions for the large mining and industrial market. Based on existing infrastructure in Sergipe, Golar Power is also well placed to participate in future Brazilian power auctions, with a clear competitive edge given that capital expenditure linked to the FSRU and grid connection has been substantially covered by the first phase of the project.
Note (1) on EBITDA: EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure. EBITDA is defined as operating income before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. A non-GAAP financial measure is generally defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission as one that purports to measure historical or future financial performance, financial position or cash flows, but excludes or includes amounts that would not be so adjusted in the most comparable U.S. GAAP measure.