Moody’s Upgrades Credit Ratings for FMPA
ORLANDO, Fla., July 25, 2001 – Moody’s Investor Service upgraded credit ratings July 24 on revenue bonds for three Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) power supply projects.
The underlying credit ratings were upgraded from A3 to A2 for FMPA’s Stanton Project, Tri-City Project and Stanton II Project. The revenue bonds for each of the projects are insured, which raises the credit ratings to AAA. The rating action affects debt outstanding of $360.6 million.
FMPA’s Stanton and Tri-City projects are ownership interests in a coal-fired power plant that is primarily owned and operated by Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC). The Stanton II Project consists of an ownership interest in a second coal-fired unit that is also primarily owned and operated by OUC.
The ratings increases were justified, Moody’s said, to reflect the competitive cost structure of the power plants, the plants’ sound operating record, the operating role of OUC (rated Aa1) and strong power sales contracts with FMPA’s project participants.
Moody’s also affirmed the underlying ratings on FMPA’s other power projects, including A1 on the All-Requirements Project, and A3 on the St. Lucie Project. Moody’s said these ratings reflect the credit strength of the project participants, competitive price of the resource produced, the projects’ operating record, and the legal provisions that back the Agency and its bonds.
Roger Fontes, FMPA’s General Manager and CEO, said, “We are pleased with the rating increases, which we think reflect the strong position of the power supply projects and the proactive steps FMPA’s Board of Directors has taken to continually enhance our competitiveness.”
“FMPA’s continued strong and active intergovernmental management role is also an important consideration in the ratings assigned to each of the projects,” Moody’s wrote in a press release announcing the upgrades.
“Moody’s notes FMPA’s strategic planning efforts with its participants as another positive factor. The new general manager has continued that effort and has begun to focus the Agency on several key areas including further fuel diversification. FMPA has invested in five power supply projects and a Pooled Loan Project, each designed to diversify the power resource base of the participants choosing to invest in the particular project.”
“Moody’s maintains a stable credit outlook on the FMPA bonds.”