Ares lines up partnership, financing for 700-MW, gas-fired project in Indiana

Ares Management LP (NYSE: ARES) announced Nov. 30 that funds managed by its Ares EIF Group have formed an equity partnership with a subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corp. to construct the St. Joseph Energy Center, a greenfield 700-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle facility located in New Carlisle, Indiana.

In connection with this transaction, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole arranged non-recourse debt financing for the project. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

The St. Joseph project will feature two Siemens SGT6-5000F gas turbines and one steam turbine and will provide clean and reliable power to a region dominated by aging coal-fired generators and that has been disproportionately impacted by retirements in recent years, said Ares. Ares EIF has secured Kiewit Power Constructors Co. as the designated engineering, procurement and construction contractor. The plant is expected to begin commercial operations in the second quarter of 2018.

“St. Joseph Energy Center is the latest example of Ares EIF’s strategy of identifying markets with an overwhelming need for new, efficient natural gas-fired generation,” said Keith Derman, a Partner in the Ares EIF Group. “Today’s closing represents the culmination of the considerable efforts undertaken to bring this project from concept to construction. We look forward to bringing St. Joseph on-line safely and seamlessly.”

Ares is a publicly traded, leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $92 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2015 and more than 15 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.

The Ares EIF Group, formerly known as Energy Investors Funds (EIF), was acquired by Ares in January 2015. Ares EIF’s investment strategy is to create geographically and technologically diversified portfolios of energy infrastructure investments via acquisitions as well as development and construction across the power generation, transmission and midstream sectors.

PJM Interconnection said in an April 2015 study on this project that St. Joseph Energy Center LLC proposes to install project #X2-052, a 675-MW natural gas-fired facility connecting to American Electric Power’s Dumont-Olive 345 kV line. This project in a prior Feasibility Study was originally looked at as a 1,200-MW gas-fired facility. This new version of the project is a 2×1 gas facility consisting of two 230-MW gas combustion turbines and one 235-MW steam turbine. The requested in service date is now June 1, 2018. A December 2014 version of the study had a requested in-service date of June 1, 2016.

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.