NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings has assessed the operational status of several New York-area power generation and transmission projects in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The following Fitch-rated projects sustained minimal or no damage and are maintaining high availability:
--Astoria Power Project Pass-Through Trust (Generation)
--Caithness Long Island, LLC (Generation)
--Hudson Transmission Partners, LLC (Transmission)
--Neptune Regional Transmission System, LLC (Transmission)
Fitch does not expect that the hurricane will have an appreciable impact on financial performance, as the projects primarily rely upon availability-based capacity payments that are generally unaffected even under force majeure conditions. Additionally, counterparty nonperformance should not impair project cash flows. The counterparties are investment-grade utilities expected to continue making contractually required payments.
Fitch also rates the East Coast Power (ECP) project, located in Linden, New Jersey. The ECP facility is not currently operational due to storm damage and has declared a force majeure event. At this time Fitch is unable to assess the full extent of financial consequences due to the storm damage. Fitch will consider the adequacy of ECP's insurance coverage to compensate for potentially lost revenues or additional costs incurred by ECP. Importantly, ECP's debt structure includes a standard six-month debt service reserve, and the next quarterly debt service payment is due in December 2012.
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--'Rating Criteria for Infrastructure and Project Finance' (July 12, 2012);
--'Rating Criteria for Thermal Power Projects' (June 18, 2012).