Ascendant Group Limited Announces Signing of $107.5 Million Financing for Construction of BELCO’s Replacement Generation and Battery Energy Storage
Hamilton, Bermuda (June 21, 2018) – Ascendant Group Limited (“Ascendant” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce the signing by its wholly owned subsidiary, Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited (“BELCO”), of US $107.5 million in financing (“the Financing”), the proceeds of which will be used to fund the construction of BELCO’s replacement generation and battery energy storage system.
The Financing includes a US $91.4 million, 12-year export finance loan, guaranteed by EKF, Denmark’s Export Credit Agency, paying floating interest based on six month LIBOR, together with a US $16.1 million, 5-year commercial loan paying floating interest based on three month LIBOR. Both loans are arranged by HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited and HSBC Securities (USA), Inc., and are anticipated to close shortly after signing. BELCO also entered into an interest rate swap, fixing the above floating rates for these loans. Due to EKF’s support, the finance package yields extremely competitive terms for BELCO, whilst extending BELCO’s debt profile for this important capital investment in Bermuda. BELCO has contracted a consortium of Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S and MAN Diesel & Turbo SE for the construction of the replacement generation and Saft America, Inc., for the battery energy storage. “We are very pleased to announce the completion of BELCO’s financing of its replacement generation and battery energy storage, and can now proceed with the construction phase,” stated Ascendant CEO, Sean Durfy. “Once completed,” he continued, “a number of advantages will benefit our customers and Bermuda, in general. As BELCO decommissions and disposes of nine older engines, and commissions four new, more efficient engines – the cost for maintenance and fuel will be less. The replacement generation will also lead to better system reliability, cleaner operations for the environment and a significant decrease in the vibration and noise levels currently experienced by nearby residents.”