By Terrence Murray, Chicago | 09 March 2011, 15:29 BST
A venture half-owned by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners has selected four banks to arrange a $500 million financing supporting the construction of a wind transmission project in Texas.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, a unit of the Toronto asset management firm and Spanish construction company Isolux Corsan, have tapped Banco Santander, Société Générale, Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi and Scotia Capital to arrange a roughly $500 million debt financing supporting the construction of a 375 miles (603 kilometers) wind power transmission line in Texas.
The mandate is attractive because the Brookfield / Isolux venture—dubbed Wind Energy Transmission Texas (WETT) — is eyeing refinancing of the bank debt, one the transmission lines go commercial in 2013, by issuing a long-term bond backed by the power lines’ regulated revenues, an industry source tells G.E.R.
Brookfield would likely look to the four banks to underwrite the bond.
Pricing and tenor on the credit facility have not been finalized. The four banks are targeting a short-term facility with a construction tranche. A limited syndication has also not been ruled out.
As previously reported by G.E.R. Brookfield began scouting for banks to arrange the financing late last year.
Financial close is anticipated in mid-June.
A Brookfield spokesman declined to comment. Officials at Santander, Société Générale, Bank of Tokyo – Mitsubishi and Scotia Capital either declined comment or did not return calls or emails.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas selected WETT to develop the transmission project more than a year ago.
WETT will own the transmission network once it goes commercial in late 2013. Once operational the transmission lines will pipe electricity generated by wind farms in West Texas to large power markets, including Dallas.Source: Green Energy Reporter