Muhammad Mubashir Nazir
PACRA Maintains Entity Ratings of Lalpir Power Limited
The ratings reflect the regulated structure of Lalpir Power Limited (Lalpir Power) business; whereby revenues and cash flows are guaranteed by the sovereign government given adherence to agreed operational parameters. A risk of any decrease in efficiency factor against required benchmark would be borne by the Company itself given the fact, Lalpir Power is managing its operations and maintenance (O&M) in-house. Topline of the company, coupled with capacity utilization has slightly improved, owing to demand from power purchaser on account of better fuel prices. In August’2020, the Company and the Committee for Negotiation with IPPs formed by Government of Pakistan, executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) converted to Master agreement on 12 February, 2021. In accordance with the Master Agreement, the Company has agreed on 11% reduction in capacity payments and variable O&M, among other clauses. As a result of the revision in agreement with CPPA-G, the Company’s profitability indicators will be slightly lower going forward, albeit are considered to be adequate. However, in line with the agreement, the issue of long outstanding receivables has been assuaged and the Company has received 40% of its receivables (PKR 6.193bln) in 1HCY21, remaining 60% amounting to PKR.9,290mln is expected in December 2021. The profitability of the Company during 1HCY21 has decreased due to non-issuance of Capacity Purchase Price invoice for the period starting from 26-03-21 to 30-06-21, pursuant to PPA Amendment signed on April 20th, 2021. Under this PPA Amendment Agreement, amongst resolution of disputes, Term of the PPA has been extended by 248 days. During this extended period the Company will issue Energy Purchase Price invoices only and accordingly Liquidated Damages imposed on the Company have been waived by the CPPA-G. The Company would start issuing Capacity Purchase Price invoices from 28th November 2021 onwards. Moreover, The Company is entitled to send CPP invoices for these 248 days after completion of remaining seven years of the PPA term, at the indexation applicable for seventh year. The long term project debt was completely paid off in 2010; thus, company’s debt position mainly reflects current borrowings secured to bridge the working capital requirements and maintenance of projects.
Upholding operational performance in line with agreed performance levels would remain a key rating driver. Further timely payment from the Power purchaser as per agreement remained imperative.
Lalpir Power Limited (Lalpir Power) was established for electricity generation under the power policy 1994 as an Independent Power Producer (IPP). The plant, with a total project cost of USD 347mln, is located at Mehmood Kot, near Muzaffargarh (Punjab) and has an installed capacity of 362MW. The project has a remaining life of approx. 7 years under the PPA. The Company has entered into a contract for a period of thirty years for purchase of fuel from PSO. Lalpir Power is listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange. The major shareholders of the company are Nishat Group (44.64%) and City Schools (Private) Limited (18.17%). While institutions hold (26.67%) and individuals (10.11%). Majority of the board members represent Nishat Group and are group Executives. Mr. Hassan Mansha, heading the Nishat Group's interest in power sector, is the Chairman of the board. All the board members are seasoned professionals having interest in various sectors of the industry. The management team comprises of qualified professionals possessing sufficient experience in the power sector.