A Total-led group has appointed the arranging banks to lead the financing backing Yemen's liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, the country's first big project financing, the lenders said in a statement.
The French oil company, is the main sponsor for the $4 billion (Dh14.68 billion) liquefaction plant in the port of Balhaf on the southern coast of Yemen. It will be able to produce 6.7 million tonnes per year of LNG.
The project financing comprises a $1.44 billion (Dh5.28 billion) senior limited recourse facility – so-called because lenders are repaid from project cash flows and have limited recourse to the sponsors' balance sheets – as well as a $1.2 billion (Dh4.4 billion) loan that has a guarantee from Total.
The $1.44 billion facility is split between a bank-funded term loan, and a further three bank-funded loans with guarantees from one of three export credit agencies – Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and France's Coface.
In addition, Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and KEXIM are together expected to provide direct loans of $360 million (Dh1.32 billion).
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, ING, Royal Bank of Scotland, Société Générale and SMBC are initial mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on both the $1.44 billion and the $1.2 billion facilities, with Calyon joining the lenders on the Total-guaranteed loan.
Yemen LNG has agreed three 20-year sales contracts for its output with Korea Gas Corp, Total Gas Power and Suez LNG Trading.
As well as Total, the project is sponsored by US Hunt Oil, Yemen Gas Co, SK Energy Co, Korea Gas Corp, the General Authority for Social Security and Pensions of Yemen and Hyundai. (Reuters)
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