Financial close on 475MW Ohio gas plant

NTE Energy has secured $645m in project financing for the construction and operation of the Middletown Energy Center in Butler County.

North American power developer and energy services provider NTE Energy has reached financial close on its $645 million, 475 megawatt (MW) Middletown Energy Center. 

Financing for the project was made possible through NTE partners Capital Dynamics and Wattage Finance-OH, which provided $243 million in equity commitments. About $402 million was also provided through various senior secured credit facilities by a group of seven financial institutions including coordinating lead arrangers BNP Paribas, who acted as administrative agent, and Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Banks, who acted as syndication agent. Nixon Peabody and Pierce Atwood served as NTE's project counsels.

The plan to develop the Middletown Energy Center began in earnest in 2013, when NTE secured a site for its project. Permits were applied for and received during the 2014 calendar year. In March the Middletown City Council authorised water and sewer services at the site as well as a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement on property tax bills, though the company agreed to pay its full contribution to local schools. Construction on the project should begin before the end of 2015.  

Gemma Power Systems will build the facility under an engineering, procurement and construction services contract. The NTE Energy Services Company will act as construction and asset manager. 

Between 300 and 400 jobs will be created throughout the construction period, and 25 to 30 full-time positions will be opened during the operating phase, according to one local media report. 

Commercial operations are expected to begin in 2018, at which time the natural gas-fired electric generation plant will become one of the most efficient and clean production facilities to sell its capacity to the PJM wholesale electricity market, according to a company statement. The plant will provide enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

NTE Energy is currently developing three projects located in North Carolina, Texas and Ohio while pursuing early-stage opportunities in several other locations, the company said.