PARIS, Oct 27, 2000 (PRNewswire via COMTEX) — ALSTOM and SITHE Energies completed financing of the second phase of a 460 MW electrical generating facility in Tamuin, State of Potosi, Mexico.

The total capital cost of the Tamuin generating project is 845 million euros (US$ 700 millions). This Project is the largest single foreign investment in the Mexican power generation sector to date.

The Project consists of two adjacent 230 MW generating stations. The first plant (the “TEG” plant) will sell its output to subsidiaries of Cemex S.A.; the second (the “TEP” plant) will sell to affiliates of Industrias Penoles S.A. de C.V. Both phases of the Project will be fired on petroleum coke supplied by Pemex.

The integrated Project began with CEMEX S.A.’s international tender in 1998 for the 230 MW TEG power plant to supply energy and capacity to Cemex subsidiaries. ALSTOM and SITHE won this tender and closed the related financing in April 2000. A bank syndicate led by ABN-AMRO and Deutsche Bank led this first phase financing, and which included A Loans from the Inter-American Development Bank, B Loan participations and a tranche of debt covered by COFACE, the French export agency. The TEG phase one plant commenced construction on 28 April 2000 and is expected to reach commercial operation in late 2002 following a 31-month construction program.

The Project’s phase two calls for the construction of the 230 MW sister plant — the TEP facility — adjacent to the TEG phase one facility. Phase two will sell power to subsidiaries of Industrias Penoles. As with the phase one sales to Cemex, TEP’s sales to the Penoles entities will occur under a 20-year power purchase contract. Penoles is the world’s largest producer of refined silver and Mexico’s leading vertically integrated natural resource company. The 288 million euro (US$ 239 millions) TEP phase two financing closed on 24 October and was led by ABN-AMRO, Credit Agricole Indosuez and ANZ. COFACE again provided political risk insurance during the construction phase and comprehensive insurance during operations for half of the debt; ECGD of the UK provided political risk insurance for the remaining commercial bank debt. The TEP plant is expected to commence operations in mid 2003 (six months after TEG).

The Project’s two facilities are integrated through an innovative sharing of equipment and infrastructure that are common to both plants. Further efficiencies are expected to result from optimal coordination and staggering of the construction schedules.

ALSTOM and SITHE developed the Project jointly and are 50%/50% equity investors in both phases of the Project. ALSTOM and SITHE have raised over 600 million euros (US$ 500 millions) of non-recourse, long-term debt to fund Project costs.

In addition to providing reliable, predictably-priced power to Penoles and Cemex, the Project advances Mexico’s power sector development in important ways. The plants were sited in part to enhance grid stabilization and transmission reliability in Mexico’s northeastern region. The Project also provides an environmentally sound way in which to dispose of petroleum coke to be produced by the Cadereyta and Madero oil refineries and thus assists in Mexico’s shift to the production of lighter, more environmentally friendly, petroleum products. And, finally, by attracting significant private sector investment the Project preserves public resources for other uses.

ALSTOM will build both power plants on a turnkey basis and supply the Circulating Fluidised Bed (CFB) boilers. SITHE will operate the facilities under long-term operations contracts and provide construction management services for both plants.

ALSTOM is a global specialist in energy and transport infrastructure. The company serves the energy market through its activities in the fields of power generation, power transmission and distribution, power conversion and electrical contracting and the transport market through its activities in rail and marine.

Following the full integration of the power generation activities, ALSTOM today has annual sales in excess of 20 billion euros and employs more than 140,000 people in over 70 countries.

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