Key Bahrain project wins $300m loan
London, July 20, 2011
Bahrain received a financial boost with the signing yesterday of the loan documents on the $300 million Muharraq sewerage waste treatment project which is being implemented under a public private partnership (PPP).
Financial close on the deal is now due in a few weeks. The deal is the first significant capital markets deal in the kingdom since the recent political unrest.
The government agreed recently to extend the concession period on the project by two years to 29 years in order to allow the deal to move forward. The project agreement was signed in February but then the project came to a stop given the political events and financial close could not be reached as planned in April.
This added to contractor costs and concerns about calling force majeure on the scheme.
The extra 2 years gives the concessionaire the commercial comfort needed to move forward, said a report from Project Finance International.
Samsung Engineering will hold 45 per cent of the project company, Invest AD 35 per cent and United Utilities 20 per cent. The debt will come from Credit Agricole, Natixis and SMBC.
South Korean export credit agency Kexim will provide political and commercial cover, with around $50 million of the loan uncovered. Macquarie is advising the sponsor. HSBC is advising the government. - Reuters