PAGBILAO Energy Corp.’s (PEC) P33.31 billion 15-year project finance facility has earned international recognition after it was named the ‘Best Power Deal’ at the Triple A Asia Infrastructure Awards 2015 given out by Hong Kong-based finance publication The Asset.
PEC said proceeds of the facility are being utilized to finance the construction and development of a third coal-fired unit with a net capacity of 400 megawatts (MW) within the site boundaries of the existing Pagbilao power station (Pag3) located in Pagbilao, Quezon.
The project, which was jointly developed by Aboitiz Power and TeaM Energy Corp., is expected to shore up power supply in Luzon by 2017.
The PEC deal is so far the single largest peso-denominated project finance transaction in the domestic market.
It was participated in by a syndicate of seven lenders, all of which were domestic banks.
First Metro Investment Corp., the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, acted as one of the mandated lead arrangers of the finance facility together with BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and BPI Capital Corp.
First Metro president Roberto Juanchito Dispo said that in the past, financing projects like Pagbilao would normally require the presence of and support from foreign banks or multilateral agencies.
Owing to the continuous growth of the Philippine domestic market and improvement of the country’s banking system, local banks now have the ability to back projects of this magnitude, fully in peso-denominated currency.
“This deal shows that big-ticket infrastructure projects can now be financed locally,” said Dispo.
This is Pag3’s fourth award over the past 12 months. Last December, Pag3 was named Best Project Finance Deal in Southeast Asia by Alpha Southeast Asia, a monthly institutional investment magazine.
In March, the same deal was recognized as the Infrastructure & Project Finance Deal of the Year in Asia Pacific by The Banker Magazine, a premier banking and finance resource based in London.
In April, the deal was conferred the Asia Financing Transaction of the Year 2014 by Infrastructure Investor, an international magazine and online news service provider that covers infrastructure finance and investment.