Loan under discussion for $9bn power project

30 July 2015

Export credit agency to support international banks in Egypt

  • The UK’s HSBC, Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Kfw-Ipex Bank are to arrange a $3.7bn loan to the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company
  • The loan is to make payments to Siemens for a $9bn contract
  • Paris-based Euler Hermes Group is expected to guarantee the loan

UK-based HSBC, Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Kfw-Ipex Bank are negotiating to arrange a $3.7bn loan with the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.

The financing will cover part of a $9bn contract with Germany’s Siemens to build three power plants with a capacity of 14.4GW, as well as install 2GW of wind power, Bloomberg has reported.

The loan will be guaranteed and insured by Paris-based export credit agency (ECA) Euler Hermes Group.

Siemens Financial Services arm also structured a financing package for Siemens in the contract, which includes a tailored guarantee concept.

The Euler Hermes support is giving the banks confidence to lend in Egypt. The availability of foreign currency is a key concern for international financers considering lending in dollars on the Egyptian market.

Cairo has attempted to stabilise its currency by allowing the Egyptian pound to depreciate, but concerns remain over how limited foreign currency reserves will be allocated.

Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker told Bloomberg that the economic ministers’ group would review a draft loan agreement, and the first tranches could be drawn in early 2016. The Egyptian Ministry of Finance will also guarantee the loan.

In partnership with Egyptian companies Elsewedy Electric and Orascom Construction, Siemens will build three gas-fired power plants at Beni Suef, Burullus and New Capital, each with a capacity of 4.8GW.

The first 4.4GW will come online before the summer of 2017 and the full 14.4GW will become available 38 months after the financing has closed and advance payments have been received.

Siemens will also deliver up to 12 windfarms in the Gulf of Suez and West Nile areas, which will consist of 600 wind turbines and a total installed capacity of 2GW.

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