Natural gas-fired plant upgrade secures financing

Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN) secured a $373 million credit facility to finance construction of a 120 MW upgrade at its Los Esteros natural gas-fired power plant in California. Calpine’s Board of Directors also authorized the company to repurchase up to $300 million of its common stock.

The project financing includes $68 million in letter of credit facilities and a $305 million construction loan that will convert to a 10-year term loan when commercial operation begins. The loan facility was arranged by Credit Agricole CIB, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., Bayerische Landesbank and West LB AG.

The Los Esteros plant is being upgraded from a simple-cycle to a combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant. Construction is expected to be completed by 2013.

The share repurchase program is effective immediately. As of Aug. 22, Calpine had more than 489 million shares of common stock outstanding.

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