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24 Feb 2006
MOODY'S ASSIGNS A3 RATING TO PHOENIX PARK GAS PROCESSORS' SENIOR SECURED NOTES; OUTLOOK STABLE
Approximately $185 Million of Debt Securities Rated
New York, February 24, 2006 -- Moody's assigned a rating of A3 to the proposed issuance of U.S.
$185 million senior secured notes by Phoenix Park Gas Processors
Limited ("Phoenix Park" or "the project").
The Notes are secured by and will rank pari-passu with the outstanding
secured bonds of Phoenix Park Funding Limited, a financing vehicle
whose debt is guaranteed by Phoenix Park, and all other senior secured
borrowings of Phoenix Park, including the existing senior secured
bonds and notes that are rated A3. The rating outlook for Phoenix
Park is stable.
The A3 rating for Phoenix Park's senior secured debt reflects the
application of Moody's rating methodology for government-related
issuers ("GRIs"). The rating is based on an underlying
baseline credit assessment of 4 (on a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 representing
the lowest credit risk), the rating of the government of Trinidad
& Tobago (Baa1 global local currency), and Moody's assessment
of a high support level and a low dependence level. The underlying
baseline credit assessment reflects the project's strong debt service
coverage ratios, a significant level of margin protection from fee
components in some feedstock agreements and supply-or-pay
contracts, and continued growth in downstream dry gas demand by
export industries that support the need for expansion of Phoenix Park's
processing capacity. The baseline credit assessment incorporates
the expectation that the project's annual debt service coverage
ratios will modestly decline over the next several years due to a higher
level of debt, but will continue to exceed 2.5X even under
a downside stress scenario in which the price of its outputs falls by
about 75%. The A3 rating outcome is sensitive to any potential
changes in Phoenix Park's baseline credit assessment, the
support level, or the rating of the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
However, it is relatively insensitive to potential changes in the
Approximately $120 million of the proposed financing will be used
to further expand the gas processing capacity of the Phoenix Park facilities
to meet increased demand from downstream industries as diverse as steel,
power, chemicals, and aluminum. The expansion project
will increase gas processing capacity by 48% and storage capacity
by 25%. Fractionation capacity recently increased 48%
to 70,000 BPD as a result of the "Fractionation 3" expansion project.
The remaining $65 million of the borrowing will be used to refinance
two outstanding borrowings, a bond and a bank loan, on more
favorable terms. Repayment of these existing borrowings is expected
to be completed by October, 2006.
The Phoenix Park facility owns and operates a cryogenic natural gas processing
plant and fractionation facilities in Point Lisas, Trinidad and
associated storage and dock facilities. It processes all the natural
gas of the Natural Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited ("NGC"),
extracting propane, butane, and natural gasoline (collectively
"NGL's") for the export market. It also has contracts to process
associated gas from certain offshore oil production and NGL's from the
Atlantic LNG ("ALNG") facilities also located in Trinidad. Although
a small operation, Phoenix Park is an important component in the
continuing expansion of the downstream petrochemical sector and other
growth areas requiring natural gas ("residue gas") for either feedstock
or power generation.
The project is owned 51% by NGC, the National Gas Company
of Trinidad & Tobago and itself wholly-owned by the government
of Trinidad, 39% owned by ConocoPhillips Inc.,
and 10% owned by Pan West Engineers and Constructors, Inc.
("Pan West"). NGC is headquartered in Port-of-Spain,
Trinidad. ConocoPhillips and Pan West are headquartered in Houston,
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Stephen G. Moore
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
No Related Data.
© 2020 Moody's Corporation, Moody's Investors Service, Inc., Moody's Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.
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