Fitch halts ratings for Indiantown coal plant in Florida

Fitch Ratings said Jan. 17 that it has withdrawn the ‘BB’ ratings on $389.4m of outstanding debt of Indiantown Cogeneration LP (ICLP) and Indiantown Cogeneration Funding Corp. because of a decision by the project sponsor, Energy Investors Funds (EIF), to stop participating in the rating process.

Fitch said it will no longer have enough information to maintain the ratings in the future, and so it will no longer provide ratings or analytical coverage for ICLP.

ICLP controls a 330-MW, pulverized coal-fired cogeneration facility located in Martin County, Fla. ICLP supplies energy and capacity to Florida Power and Light Co. under a 30-year power purchase agreement. ICLP also provides steam to Louis Dreyfus Citrus, an international juice processing company, under a long-term steam supply agreement. ICLP was formed to construct, own, and operate this coal facility, which began commercial operation in December 1995.

ICLP is 100% indirectly owned by EIF, Fitch noted. In September 2007, funds managed by EIF acquired an 80% equity interest in ICLP, and in June 2011 those funds acquired the remaining 20% interest from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Cogentrix Inc.

Founded in 1987, EIF was the first U.S. private equity fund manager to focus on the independent power industry, said the company website. Since that time, EIF has raised over $4bn in equity capital. EIF’s funds have made over 100 diversified investments, which have an underlying asset value greater than $15bn. The company had issued no statement as of Jan. 17 about participation in the ratings process for Indiantown.

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) delivered 36,003 tons of coal to the Indiantown plant in September 2011 from its Feats and Zigmond loading operations in West Virginia, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.