The sponsors of a $1bn polysilicon plant in Saudi Arabia have appointed Bahrain’s Gulf International Bank (GIB) as financial adviser for the raising of the project’s debt and equity.

The project financing is split between 40 per cent equity and 60 per cent debt. Bahrain’s First Energy Bank (FEB) is the primary sponsor of the project, and currently holds 90 per cent of the project equity.

GIB will be involved in looking for Saudi investors to purchase some of FEB’s stake. It will also begin seeking debt finance for the project in the new year. The debt financing is also expected to include an Islamic tranche.

FEB has already started talks with export credit agencies and banks about financing the project, and GIB will now further develop those talks. At the launch of the project in mid-November, FEB chief executive Vahan Zanoyan said that it would take about two months to get a clearer idea who the debt investors in the project would be, and that in a further three months the bank would have identified equity investors.

FEB is investing in the project through its subsidiary Cosmos Industrial Investment Corporation. The other current shareholder in the project is Saudi Arabia’s Project Management and Development Company (PMD).