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Oracle shares surge as Chinese energy giant takes big stake in its Pakistan power plant

Beijing Jingneng Power Company is replacing Sichuan Provincial as one of the three project partners and will assume its 78% ownership of the electricity plant

BJPC is listed in Shanghai with a market cap of around US$3bn

Shares in Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) surged on Thursday after Chinese energy giant Beijing Jingneng Power Company (BJPC) took a majority stake in its key project.

Along with its other joint venture partner, PowerChina, Oracle is developing a 700Mw coal-fired electricity plant in Pakistan’s Thar province.

BJPC, which is listed in Shanghai and is worth around US$3bn, is replacing Sichuan Provincial, the last of the three original partners.

READ: Oracle encourage by stance of new Pakistani government

As part of the revised memorandum of understanding, BJPC will own 78% of the project, Oracle will retain its 12.1% stake, while PowerChina will hold the remaining 9.9%.

Importantly for Oracle and its investors, the company’s historical spend on the project will be capitalised as a contribution towards its equity interest.

“We have signed a new MOU and are pleased to bring BJPC on as a partner in the project,” Oracle chief executive Shahrukh Khan.

“We remain grateful to PowerChina for their continued support throughout this process and believe we have the group to take this Project through to conclusion.

“We are mindful that this transaction has taken longer than many envisaged to complete and would like to thank our shareholders for their patience.”

“The inclusion of our historic expenditure, several multiples of our current market capitalisation, as part of Oracle's contribution to the Project should help minimise dilution to shareholders in the PLC whilst retaining a significant interest in this sizeable asset.”

After what he called a “frustrating period” with limited newsflow, Khan added that Oracle is now “firmly in a position” to press ahead with the project.

The initial phase of development carries a capital cost of US$1.6bn and is for a gross 4mln tonnes per annum mine, feeding a 700MW power plant.

Phase 2 of the project will see capacity expand to 1,400 Mw.

Shares jumped by a third to 0.5p on Thursday morning.

Quick facts: Oracle Power PLC

Price: 0.625 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £13.03 m

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