Banks sign up for NGL loan

23 November 2001

A $104 million loan to fund equity to be invested in a natural gas liquids (NGL) plant to be built on the Mediterranean coast has attracted strong support from Egyptian, regional and international banks. Co-ordinating arranger Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp)says banks offered a total of $140 million. 'It was good to get that level of support for a dollar-based facility in what has been a difficult market for banks in recent months,' says Michael Hamilton, head of project and trade finance at the Al-Khobar-based institution.

The loan has been taken out by Egyptian Natural Gas Company (Gasco)and will be used to enable it to pay in its one-third stake in United NGL Gas Company. The other partners, with one-third each, are BP of the UK and International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC), part of Italy's Eni group. The plant will process gas from offshore Delta fields operated by BP and IEOC to make liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propane and condensate, mainly for the local market.

The arranging group comprises Arab Bank (Egypt), Arab Banking Corporation (ABC), ABC Egypt, BNP Paribas (Egypt), Commercial International Bank (Egypt), HSBC Bank Egypt, MashreqBank, Arab International Bank, Credit Agricole Indosuez, and The Arab Investment Company.

The facility is a seven-year amortising loan. The pricing structure has not been disclosed.

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