Banks prepare for Qatar GTL debt

24 May 2002

The information memorandum (IM) is due to be sent out in July for the debt package on the Gulf's first gas-to-liquids (GTL) project. Sponsored by a joint venture of Qatar Petroleum (QP)and South Africa's Sasol, the Ras Laffan plant will be part-financed by an estimated $750 million loan facility. The aim is to achieve financial close on the estimated $1,100 million project in November to coincide with the award of the project's engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract (MEED 19:4:02, Oil & Gas).

The IM is set to be sent out to individual banks, which will be given a minimum of six weeks to submit their proposals. Once the offers have been received, the joint venture and its financial adviser, The Royal Bank of Scotland, are expected to select a lead arranging group for the 10-15-year borrowing. The same procedure was employed by QP on the Qatar Chemical Company (Q-Chem)and NGL-4 financings, concluded in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

Four groups are prequalified to submit EPC bids by late July for the estimated $700 million-800 million contract. They are Germany's Krupp Uhde, a Japanese group of Chiyoda Corporationand Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Paris-based Technip-Coflexip, and a group made up of Japan's JGC Corporation, Italy's Snamprogettiand US-based Halliburton KBR.

The plant will have a capacity of 34,000 barrels a day.

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