Dallas-based Panda Power Funds to start construction immediately on new power plant acquired from Moxie Energy

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Dec 20, 2013 10:49 PM EST

Dallas-based Power Panda Funds said it will start construction right away on the 829-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant located in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania it bought from Moxie Energy, Reuters reported. Debt capital totaling $651.5 million was raised for Panda Patriot generating station with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Ares Capital, Union Bank and Investec acting as joint lead arrangers for the senior debt financing. 

This is the second acquisition of the private equity firm from the Moxie, the first being the Liberty generating project built in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Liberty is an 829-megawatt plant which Panda purchased in August.

The 85-acre site where the Panda Patriot generating station will be built is Lycoming County aims to capitalize on the abundant resources of the Marcellus Shale. Panda said commercial operations of the Patriot power plant is expected to start in the middle of 2016.

The report said the plants will add generation in the PJM Interconnection which would help offset up to 20,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation set to be retired due to economics and more stringent federal environmental controls. Panda is also constructing a 4,000 megawatt gas-fired generation in Texas and Pennsylvania. It also has another 750-megawatt gas plant located in Virginia and an 859-megawatt plant in Maryland.

Panda Power Funds President and Senior Partner Todd W. Carter said in a statement, "There's no grass growing under our feet. I'm extremely proud of a Panda team that has closed five deals of this size in 17 months. I am also pleased to add another Pennsylvania project to our portfolio. Using natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, the Panda Patriot generating station will provide clean, low-cost power to Pennsylvanians for generations to come."

In a statement, Panda Patriot said the Marcellus Shale where the Panda Patriot project is strategically sited, is estimated to be the world's second largest natural gas field. It is projected to have as much as 330 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. At today's levels, this is equivalent to 115 years of production.

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