Blackstone-backed Fisterra closes on 875MW Mexico plant

The Tierra Mojada CCGT project in Guadalajara will look to sell energy to a market opened by the country’s recent reforms.

Fisterra Energy, a firm majority owned by Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Capital Partners, has reached financial close on an 875MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Most of the capacity of the Tierra Mojada plant, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, will be sold to the Comisión Federal de Electricidad Calificados under a 20-year power purchase agreement. The facility will tap the wholesale electricity market created by energy reforms launched in 2013.

“This initiative would not be possible without the support of the Mexican government and CFE’s forward-thinking approach to Mexico’s power markets,” said Sean Klimczak, senior managing director at Blackstone. “The competitive wholesale power market in Mexico has incentivised new and efficient power generation, which ultimately reduces the price of power for consumers.”

Financing for Tierra Mojada came from around $600 million of construction facilities and letters of credit provided by six banks: Société Générale, Calyon and Natixis, all headquartered in Paris; Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho; and Italian Intesa Sanpaolo.

The plant is Fisterra and Blackstone’s third energy project in Mexico. The firms previously developed the 252MW Ventika onshore wind farm, which was the largest in the country when it was built. Blackstone exited that project in December, selling it to San Diego-based Sempra Energy for an enterprise value of $852 million. The firms also partnered to export power generation from the Frontera facility in Mission, Texas to Mexico in 2016.