Anam Waqas Ghayour
PACRA Maintains Entity Ratings of Sapphire Electric Company Limited.
The ratings reflect the strong business profile of Sapphire Electric Company Limited (“Sapphire Electric” or “The Company”) emanating from the demand risk coverage under the Power Purchase Agreement signed between CPPA-G (Central Power Purchasing Agency) and the Company. Meanwhile, the Implementation Agreement provides a sovereign guarantee for cashflows, given adherence to agreed performance benchmarks. The ratings incorporate low operational risk, a result of performance of General Electric - the O&M operator. The primary fuel of the plant is Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) which is supplied by Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL). Thus fuel supply risk is considered adequate, pertaining to the meaningful addition of RLNG in Pakistan’s fuel mix. During the period, 1QFY23 & FY22, provided ~164.08GWh, & ~780GWh of electricity to the national grid and recorded sales revenue of PKR ~6,738mln & PKR ~22,092mln along with a Net Profit of PKR ~1,233mln & PKR ~2,095mln respectively. Although previous receivables under the Master Agreement has been received but the trend of mounting receivables is observed again since 2QFY23 which is posing pressure on the Company’s working capital requirements. In order to carter the issue the Company has arranged amicable working capital lines whose utilization stands at 47% on average as end FY22. Sapphire Electric project-related debt has been completely paid off in Sep’20. The Company has strong equity base which going forward is expected to be diluted due to cash outlay for the construction of Sapphire Hydro Limited, a Hydro Power project of 150MW in Sharmai Khyber Pakhtunkhawa which is a wholly owned subsidiary.
Upholding operational performance in line with agreed performance levels would remain a key rating driver. The Company's association with Sapphire Group provides comfort to the ratings. Sustained good financial discipline and upholding strong operational performance in line with agreed performance levels remain important
Sapphire Electric was established in 2005 as an independent power producer (IPP), with a gross capacity of 225MW, is operating under the Power Policy 2002. It began commercial operations in October 2010. Sapphire Electric is a subsidiary of Sapphire Fibres Limited. Sapphire Group owns (70%) stake in Sapphire Electric mainly through Sapphire Fibres Limited (70%), while the remaining stake is owned by Xenel Saudi Arabia (20%), Meezan Bank (5%), and a few high net worth individuals (5%). Sapphire Electric's project cost comprised 25% equity and 75% debt. The seven-member Board of Directors (BoD), including the CEO, is majorly composed of representatives from Sapphire Group, while Xenel is represented by one member. The board has played an active role in providing strategic guidance to Sapphire Electric and has been responsible for making key decisions. Mr. Shahid Abdullah, the CEO, also heads the parent company Sapphire Fibres Limited. He is supported by a professional management team.