MARC Ratings has withdrawn its preliminary rating of AA-IS on Sparks Energy 1 Sdn Bhd’s RM220.0 million proposed ASEAN Green SRI Sukuk. Sparks Energy 1 is the funding vehicle for two 30MWac solar projects in Kuala Muda, Kedah, and Machang, Kelantan.
The rating house notes that the construction of the solar power plants is currently being funded by bank loans which are expected to be repaid from the proceeds of the proposed Sukuk. MARC said it understands that the construction of the solar power plants has been delayed mainly due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kuala Muda plant achieved a commercial operation date (COD) on March 22, 2022 from a revised target of December 31, 2021 while the Machang plant’s COD has been revised to September 2022 from January 31, 2022.
MARC Ratings had highlighted in its press announcement dated November 30, 2021, that the proposed sukuk programme would be set up upon achieving COD for both plants and that the preliminary rating only considers the operational phase of the projects.
The rating withdrawal reflects its concern that the legal disputes between project sponsors over the sponsorship structure of the two solar power project companies would be protracted and may affect the completion of the Machang plant as well as impact the operational phase of the plants.