AES Dominicana and Empresa Generadora de Electricidad (Itabo), subsidiaries of global power company AES Corporation, have received a US$250mn bridge loan from a syndicate of 13 financial institutions.

The two-year financing was led by Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior (Bladex) as joint lead arranger and bookrunner, together with Banco Popular Dominicano, which also acted as administrative agent.

The loan, which was launched and closed in less than a month and upsized from US$200mn due to strong demand, will be used to buy back senior notes issued by affiliates of AES Andres and Itabo, due in 2020. Lenders are all from the Dominican Republic, Central America and the Caribbean.

AES Dominicana, which has so far focused on providing energy within the Dominican Republic, announced in December its intention to turn its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the country into and LNG transshipment and bunkering hub for the Caribbean, Central and South America by Q3 2016.

To this aim, the company has hired LNG expert George Nemeth (whose experience includes head of LNG origination at Société Générale and head of LNG at Merrill Lynch Commodities, as well as similar roles for ExxonMobil and Koch Supply and Trading).

In his new role as director of LNG business development for AES, Nemeth explains: “The combination of AES Dominicana’s ability to procure competitively priced LNG and the capability to deliver small loads of LNG allow for cost-effective gas conversion solutions for smaller-load fuel consumers in the region. The facility is also located along many shipping routes, ideally positioned to provide LNG bunkering services to vessel owners and operators who are increasingly drawn to LNG as a propulsion fuel.”