UAE-based Emirates Aluminium (Emal) has appointed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as financial adviser for the second phase expansion of its smelter at Taweelah.

Sources close to the deal confirm that RBS has been appointed, and that Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, has begun informing other banks that pitched for the mandate that they have not been selected. Mubadala is one of the sponsors of the project with Dubai Aluminium (Dubal).

Bankers close to the project say that RBS had been widely expected to be awarded the advisory mandate.

The phase 2 expansion of the plant is expected to cost around $5bn, around the same as the $4.9bn phase 1 development cost. The financing is expected to feature a bond issue, as well as a large component of export credit agency (ECA) funding.

Other banks that pitched for the mandate include France’s BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole, the UK’s HSBC, and US’ Citigroup.

Citigroup was financial adviser on phase 1 of the project, and recently put together a $420m ECA facility to fund the scheme.