May 15, 2018 | last updated May 15, 2018 11:12 am

New ownership for Middletown power plant
The 620-megawatt, gas-fired Kleen Energy plant in Middletown has a new majority ownership group.

The private-equity owner of the 620-megawatt Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown said it has sold a majority stake to four Japanese companies.

Ares EIF, a unit of California-based Ares Management, said it's formed a new investment vehicle to manage Kleen Energy Systems LLC on behalf of the new investor group, which includes three Japanese utilities and a Tokyo-based global trading company.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

New investors include subsidiaries of The Chugoku Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co., Osaka Gas Co. and Sojitz Corp.

According to information announced Tuesday by Sojitz, the new ownership structure of Kleen is as follows: Sojitz owns 20.25 percent; Osaka Gas owns 24.30 percent; Kyushu Electric Power Co. owns 20.25 percent and the Chugoku Electric Power Co. owns 16.2 percent.

That would leave 19 percent remaining for Ares EIF. Ares has owned a majority share in Kleen since 2014, when it acquired Energy Investors Funds, a company that bought an 80 percent stake in Kleen in 2008, around the time construction on the plant began. Two years later, a natural gas explosion at the plant killed six workers and injured dozens of others.

It wasn't immediately clear Tuesday morning exactly how big Ares EIF's stake in Kleen was prior to the ownership change.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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