PF Archive

Angamos: AES plays the long game

19 11 2008

AES Gener closed the $988 million debt financing for the Angamos power project on 23 October 2008. The financing is one of the largest to close in Latin America this year, but took place before the credit crunch's most vicious phase. It benefited from a supportive contractual and financial structure, and AES' willingness to maintain goodwill in the banking community. Angamos had to contend with appalling financing conditions for emerging markets borrowers, but benefited from the precedent that it set with 2007's Ventanas financing. Ventanas, a smaller financing, sparked widespread bank interest in Chile's power sector, and set pricing and tenor records in the country. The project sells power to two subsidiaries of BHP Billiton, which operates the Escondida and Spence copper mines in the north of Chile. BHP issued a request for proposals for coal-fired capacity in mid-2007, and offered potential bidders a site for any project. AES responded to the bid in August, and was notified of its preliminary award in November 2007. AES has an established presence in the Northern Interconnected System, and prepared a bid using its own site, located at Meijillones, in Chile's Region II. It was not required to include an underwritten bid, though according to Chad Canfield, AES' director of project finance, it...