Lahore, March 20, 2019 (PPI-OT): The ratings reflect strong business profile of Sapphire Electric Company Limited (Sapphire Electric) emanating from the demand risk coverage under Power Purchase Agreement signed between CPPA-G (Central Power Purchasing Agency) and the company. Meanwhile, the Implementation Agreement provides sovereign guarantee for cashflows, given adherence to agreed performance benchmarks. Nevertheless, delayed payments from the power purchaser remained a challenge. The ratings incorporate low operational risk, a result of the performance of General Electric – the O and M operator.
Primary fuel of the plant is Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) which is supplied by Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL). Thus fuel supply risk is considered adequate, pertaining to meaningful addition of RLNG in Pakistan’s fuel mix. Although there are delays in payments from power purchaser, the company manages the impact by aligning the payments to fuel supplier with its receipts.
This keeps working capital needs under check. Short-term borrowing lines are available and mainly used to fund any short-fall in working capital requirements. As of Dec-18, short term lines utilization stood at 74%. Moreover, lately Sapphire Electric has been repaying its debt repayments (Principal and Mark-up) on time without availing benefit of forbearance period and committed to continue this practice till maturity. Sapphire Electric has total long term debt of PKR 3,679mln as at end-Dec-18 payable till September 2020. 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. Accumulation of circular debt would pose threat to the company’s ability to continue with this practice. However, the management ably supported by sponsors’ remains committed to sustain improvement in management of commercial obligations and timely debt repayments.
For more information, contact:
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited (PACRA)
Awami Complex, FB1, Usman Block New Garden Town,
Lahore – Pakistan
Tel: +9242 586 9504 -6
Fax: +9242 583 0425