White & Case Advises Global Coordinator and Lenders on Financing of Brazilian Thermoelectric Power Plant
Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV) in structuring approximately R$5.0 billion (US$1.8 billion) in financing for the design, construction and operation of a 1,516 MW thermoelectric power plant in Brazil.
According to Business News Americas, the power plant will be Latin America's largest gas-fired power generation project. It will be located in the municipality of Barra dos Coqueiros, in the State of Sergipe, Brazil.
Goldman served as global coordinator, sole book-running manager and sole initial purchaser in connection with a R$3.2 billion investment-grade senior secured notes offering by a Luxembourg special-purpose vehicle (Lux SPV) and as sole syndication agent, sole lead arranger, sole lead bookrunner and lender of a R$168.5 million loan to the Lux SPV.
The Lux SPV used the proceeds from the notes and the loan to purchase R$3.37 billion worth of Brazilian debentures, issued by CELSE - Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A., the project company. CELSE also received committed loans from IDB Invest and IFC. SERV will insure up to 95% of CELSE's payment obligations under the Brazilian debentures, resulting in what is believed to be the first time they have insured an issuance of a capital markets instrument.
The power plant will source liquefied natural gas from a pipeline connected to a dedicated floating storage and regasification unit. The construction of a 33-km transmission line will connect the power plant to the existing electricity transmission network, converting the sourced LNG to power. The plant is part of Brazil's strategy to complement its hydro-based energy system with thermal power, creating a more reliable energy supply.
The White & Case finance deal teams consisted of the project finance team, led by partners Sean Goldstein and John Anderson, and associates John Donaleski, Julia Bell, Peter Dagher, Sean Williams and Jia Ying in Mexico City, São Paulo and New York, and the capital markets team, led by partner John Vetterli and associates Rafael Roberti, Cesar Briceno Lopez and Yana Shneyderman in New York, and were assisted by other offices throughout the White & Case global network, including partner Ned Neaher in Washington, DC, partner Mark Castillo-Bernaus and associate Dina Elshurafa in London and partner Brendan Quinn, counsel Candice Ota and associates Christina Koravos and Toby Breheny in Melbourne.
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