International and regional banks have submitted commitments for a $5bn project financing to support Saudi Arabian Mining Company’s (Maaden) phosphate mining development.

An industry source says the deal is just pending legal sign-off.

The debt carries a 17-year tenor and has been split between the Public Investment Fund (PIF), a shareholder in Maaden, a loan from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and a commercial bank portion.

Lenders on the commercial tranche include Japanese banks SMBC and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, European banks BNP Paribas and HSBC, Export Development Canada (EDC), the German development bank KFW and the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

Several Saudi Arabian banks are also participating in a Saudi riyal portion of the commercial bank tranche.  

“A good number of banks participated in the deal but not everyone could do 17 years,” the industry source says. He says although short-term US dollar liquidity is relatively high, market appetite for funding long-term dollars is still limited for certain sections of the market due to the cost constraints.

The UK’s HSBC is financial adviser on the project.

Funds will be used to develop the Waad al-Shamal phosphates city, which is being built at Umm Waal, on the northern border with Jordan. Maaden will own 60 per cent of the project along with the US’ Moasic, which will hold 25 per cent, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), which will hold the remainder.

In late November, Maaden announced the award of a SR2.25bn ($599.9m) EPC contract to Italian firm Intecsa Industrial to build a fertiliser plant that will be part of the Waad al-Shamal phosphate project.