Taqa secures $1.09bn in funding to refinance Mirfa Power and Water Plant debt

The long-term funding, raised from a group of nine regional and international banks, will mature in 2042

The Mirfa plant is 60 per cent owned by Taqa, with Italy’s Engie and Japan’s Sojitz each owning a 20 per cent stake. Victor Besa / The National
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Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, secured Dh4bn ($1.09bn) in funding to refinance debt for its Mirfa Power and Water Plant.

Mirfa International Power and Water Company (Mipco), the Abu Dhabi-based project company that owns and operates the plant, secured the financing from a group of nine regional and international lenders, Taqa said in a statement on Wednesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

The long-term US dollar-denominated funding facility will mature in September 2042.

The syndicate of mandated lead arrangers on the financing deals were Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Bank of China (Dubai), First Abu Dhabi Bank, KfW IPEX-Bank, The Norinchukin Bank, Saudi National Bank, Shinsei Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

The proceeds from the new long-term senior secured loan were used to refinance the company’s debt raised in 2014 as part of a soft-mini perm structure — a popular financing model in the region’s utility sector that allows loan maturities to remain long term but encourages the borrower to refinance.

“Taqa Group is committed to securing competitive finance for our assets to maximise returns for our shareholders and business partners,” said Farid Al Awlaqi, executive director of generation at Taqa.

The refinancing of Mipco debt facilities shows the “appetite for funding major utility projects in Abu Dhabi, at which Taqa is at the helm”, he said.

Mirfa International Power and Water Company (Mipco) owns and operates the Mirfa Power and Water Plant. Photo: Mipco

The Mirfa independent water and power project commenced commercial operations in 2017. The combined-cycle gas turbine power plant, reverse osmosis plant and three multi-stage flash desalination units have gross installed power capacity of 1.7 gigawatts and 53 million imperial gallons per day gross water desalination capacity.

It is 60 per cent owned by Taqa, with Italy’s Engie and Japan’s Sojitz each owning a 20 per cent stake.

Taqa, one of the largest listed integrated utility companies in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, in April announced its 2030 strategy that involves investing $10.9bn in infrastructure development as it seeks to add about 27 gigawatts of power capacity and expand its renewables portfolio.

The company plans to expand its power-generation capacity in the UAE from 18 gigawatts to 30 gigawatts and boost its global generating capacity by 15 gigawatts.

It currently has the Al Dhafra solar photovoltaic (PV) plant under construction that, once completed, will overtake Noor Abu Dhabi — also run by Taqa — to become the world’s largest single site solar PV plant.

Updated: September 21, 2022, 6:51 AM