Dalia Energy Companies (TASE: DALIA) announced this morning that, in accordance with the terms of the tender, it had increased the guarantee supporting its winning bid for the Eshkol power station from NIS 100 million to NIS 200 million. Dalia has however submitted a revised offer of NIS 9 billion, instead of its original bid of NIS 12.4 billion, which was far in excess of Israel Electric Corporation’s (IEC) internal estimate of the power station’s value, and much higher than the next highest bid in the tender, which is seen making it difficult for the company to raise finance for the purchase.
The future of the tender now depends on a decision by IEC whether to accept Dalia’s revised offer, which will lead to an appeal by the under-bidder, the OPC-Noy Fund consortium, to the High Court of Justice; to award the tender to OPC-Noy and foreclose on the NIS 200 million guarantee deposited by Dalia; or to cancel the tender.
For the purposes of guaranteeing that it will meet the preconditions for handover of the power station, in the event that a sale agreement is signed between the parties on the basis of the revised offer, Dalia deposited a further NIS 700 million.
Dalia says that its revised offer is valid until the earlier of sixty days from the handover date specified in the tender, the date IEC cancels the tender, and the date IEC announces that it is rejecting the revised offer.
Dalia has given its financing banks collateral against the guarantees that they have set up, including deposits at the banks. The deposits are from the company’s own resources and from shareholders’ loans amounting to NIS 142.5 million.
The Eshkol power station, which is fueled by natural gas, has an installed capacity of 1,693 megawatts, about 9.5% of the current combined capacity of Israel’s power stations. There is also a regulatory commitment to the construction of Eshkol 2, a new, 850-megawatt power plant, on the site. The site covers 440 dunams (110 acres), allowing substantial construction of, for example, energy storage installations.
Before the tender, IEC’s internal estimate put the value of the Eshkol power station at NIS 5.8-6.2 billion. At NIS 6 billion, the Generation Capital-Mivtach Shamir-Ashtrom consortium’s bid was within this range. The OPC-Noy Fund bid was NIS 7 billion. Both Dalia Energy Companies’ original bid of NIS 12.4 billion and its revised bid of NIS 9 billion are well above the range.
It is estimated that, of the amount that the eventual buyer will pay, NIS 3-3.5 billion will go to IEC, while the remainder will be transferred to the public through a reduction in electricity prices. This means that, if the tender is awarded to OPC-Noy Fund, about NIS 4 billion will be available to finance a reduction in electricity prices, enough to bring prices down by 3% for four years. If Dalia Energy Companies’ revised offer is accepted, this will leave about NIS 6 billion to be applied to reducing electricity prices, enough for a 3% reduction for six years.
The Eshkol power station in Ashdod is the fourth, and most expensive, of the power stations that IEC was due to sell in the framework of the power industry reform.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 10, 2023.
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