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Panda Power finishes second Marcellus Shale gas facility

The 829MW combined-cycle generating station, for which construction started in 2013, counts institutional investors as equity backers.

Panda Power Funds has completed its second natural gas facility that will draw resources from the Marcellus Shale.

The 829MW combined-cycle generating station, named the Patriot, is located in Lycoming County in Central Pennsylvania. Panda Power said this facility is the second power plant specifically built to use natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale. In late October, the company commissioned the Liberty Station as the first facility in the area.

The Marcellus Shale is a region spanning the US northeast that holds vast amounts of natural gas deposits. Panda Power said its facilities will have an operating cost advantage because of its close proximity to the reserves.

“Tapping Marcellus Shale gas is allowing Panda Power Funds to help provide for the rebirth of Pennsylvania’s industrial base,” Panda Power chief executive Todd Carter said. “Equally important, it is allowing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to help provide America’s energy independence.”

Construction of the Patriot station began in 2013. Panda Power, along with institutional investors, provided equity for the project. It also raised debt financing from Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital and Union Bank. Gemma-Lane Patriot Partners served as the project’s engineering, procurement and installation contractor. Siemens Energy provided equipment.

Panda Power is positioning itself to be a lead natural gas developer in the PJM Interconnection, the electric grid covering Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. It said 20GW of coal-fired power plants have announced retirements in the coming years, one of them being a facility Panda Power is converting to a 1.1GW natural gas station.

Launched in 2010, Panda Power now has five combined-cycle power plants in Texas and Pennsylvania. It is currently building two combined-cycle plants in Pennsylvania and Virginia.