Alba corporate borrowing goes to bid

20 September 2002

The preliminary information memorandum (PIM) was issued on 12 September for Aluminium Bahrain's (Alba's)$1,550 million corporate borrowing. Banks have been given until 10 October to submit their offers for the borrowing, which will be used to finance the company's fifth potline project (MEED 6:9:02).

The borrowing will be made up of a maximum of four separate facilities. These are: a $650 million-750 million commercial bank facility; a $400 million Islamic facility; a metal-linked credit facility and/or an exports credits facility, totalling $300 million-500 million; and a Bahraini dinar-denominated bond of $100 million-200 million.

Banks have been requested to submit individual offers for specific facilities. For more than one facility, group offers will be considered. Alba is aiming to achieve financial close by late November.

'There should be quite a lot of appetite for this. Alba is strong financially, there is not much there in terms of risk, and there hasn't been much in the financial markets recently,' says an international banker tracking the project. 'By seeking offers for a handful of facilities, Alba is obviously keeping its options open.'

Alba's financial adviser is Taylor-DeJongh. Norton Rose is the legal adviser.

The fifth potline project will involve the addition of 307,000 tonnes a year of smelting capacity. In addition, a new casthouse and carbon plant will be installed, along with 650 MW of new power capacity. The US' Bechtelis the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) manager for the potline, while the power station work is currently out to bid (MEED 2:8:02, Power & Water; 26:7:02).

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