EIB mulls new LNG loans

30 July 2004
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has set up two project teams to consider loan proposals for the Spanish Egyptian Gas Company (SEGAS)liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Damietta and the second train of the Egyptian LNG (ELNG)complex being built at Idku. Both lendings, which will be submitted to the EIB board for approval in the last quarter, are expected to be worth about $300 million each. They come on the heels of the $372 million lending for Idku train 1, which is the bank's biggest transaction to date outside the EU (MEED 11:6:04, Cover Story).

Both lendings are expected to adopt a similar model to the earlier loan, which was split into two tranches under the Article 18 and Euromed mandates - the combination provides joint political and commercial risk coverage for the project for a 23-year period.

Four banks were mandated in June for a $600 million corporate loan for SEGAS, while the debt package for train 2 of the ELNG project, also estimated at $600 million, is expected to be offered to the market in the last quarter.

The financial adviser on both ELNG trains is Societe Generale(MEED 28:5:04).

The EIB is also understood to have received requests for loans from Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM)for five of the projects it is developing as part of the first phase of its 20-year masterplan. The bank has not formally set up project teams to consider the requests, but negotiations are comparatively well advanced over ECHEM's $196 million linear alkyl benzene (LAB) scheme, to be located at Alexandria, and for the polypropylene plant being developed by ECHEM and Oriental Petrochemicals Company, also local (MEED 9:4:04, Petrochemicals).

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