RENEWABLES NOW: Genex opts for sole equity funding of 250-MW K2 hydro storage project

March 24 (Renewables Now) – Genex Power Ltd (ASX:GNX), the developer of the 250-MW K2 pumped storage hydro project in Queensland, has kicked off an AUD-115-million (USD 87.4m/EUR 73.9m) equity fundraising, betting on a plan to achieve financial close without partners.

The Aussie developer has been seeking a partner to cover the project’s equity requirements in return for a 50% stake in the scheme. After being in negotiations since last summer, the company said on Wednesday that due to “inability to reach satisfactory commercial terms” with the preferred partner, it has decided to continue the process on its own. Via the new plan, it intends to achieve financial close on the project in April-May.

To cover the equity component, Genex will raise AUD 90.3 million through an AUD-34-million share issue among institutional investors and an 11-for-20 entitlement offer to existing shareholders that will provide it with some AUD 56.3 million. All new shares will be issued at a price of AUD 0.20 apiece.

Some AUD 25 million in equity will be provided by Japan’s Electric Power Development Co Ltd, better known as J-Power, which in August last year pledged to make an equity contribution into Genex and take an up to 19.99% stake in the Australian firm. The move needs to be cleared by Genex’s shareholders.

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) will extend up to AUD 610 million in debt for K2, which will cover 78.5% of the project’s AUD-777-million total cost. Separately, AUD 47 million in grant funding will be used from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Genex estimates that the construction of the pumped-hydro facility will cost around AUD 583 million, while AUD 111 million will be needed for its connection to the transmission network. It said it will work to begin the four-year construction process in late April.

Genex is developing the K2 pumped storage hydro project as part of a larger clean energy hub that will incorporate the up to 270-MW K2-Solar park and a 150-MW wind farm. A 50-MW solar plant is already producing electricity at the site.

(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.760/EUR 0.642)

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