Kent Harvey

Pacific Gas & Electric plans to tap the capital markets in 2012 to help finance its heavy capital expenditures program, Kent Harvey, senior v.p. and cfo, told PI at the Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference in Orlando, Fla. PG&E estimates a 2012 capex of $4.2-4.8 billion.

The San Francisco-based utility generally issues roughly $1 billion annually to satisfy its funding needs, Harvey noted. If PG&E hits that level again in 2012, it would likely do so in multiple debt issuances.

In terms of the timing of the issuances, need would be the foremost driver, not necessarily the coupon. Utilities have been scoring record-low coupons in recent months (PI, 9/9), as investors pursue safe options in a weak economy. PG&E snared its record-low coupon—3.25%—for 10-year debt last summer.

PG&E likely will tap relationship lenders that participate in its revolver for 2012 issuances, Harvey said. They include Citigroup, JPMorgan, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho Securities, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank (PI, 4/8 PI, 4/8).

The specific size of PG&E’s targeted 2012 issuances couldn’t be learned. Harvey declined to comment.

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