CMS to restructure

09 November 2001

The US' CMS Energy, a leading international player in the regional power sector, is to proceed with a major restructuring that will see the company divest all its international power assets with the exception of those in the Middle East, North Africa and Ghana. The restructuring, aimed at reducing the company's debt mountain and cutting capital spending, will also result in the closure of CMS business development offices in London and Abu Dhabi. The company will maintain its regional representative office in Abu Dhabi (US, MEED Special Report, 21:9:01).

CMS is to maintain its existing assets of Taweelah A-2 in Abu Dhabi and Jorf Lasfar in Morocco. It also says that it is committed to achieving financial close as soon as possible on the Shuweihat independent water and power project (IWPP) in Abu Dhabi and the Saudi Petrochemical Company (Sadaf)independent power project (IPP).

CMS, in partnership with the UK's International Power, signed in August the power and water purchase agreement for the 1,500-MW, 100 million-gallon a day Shuweihat IWPP (MEED 24:8:01). For the Sadaf IPP, it was declared the preferred bidder in April and is expected to sign the energy conversion agreement in the first quarter of next year (MEED 8:6:01, Cover Story).

CMS says that its immediate priority is to proceed with its divestment programme. 'Our primary focus has to be to repair our overleveraged balance sheet,' a company official said in mid-November 'We need to pay down debt and reduce capital spending.' The twin demands mean the company is unlikely to bid for new projects in the region in the short term. 'In the longer term, we will still need to grow our business and expand our activities,' the official added.

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