MLAs close on Bapco PIM

11 October 2004
Mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) are due to be appointed on 15 October for the proposed 12-year commercial debt package for Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco). The financing is understood to have received very strong interest from banks and could be increased in size to as much as $1,000 million to cover a range of Bapco's refinery upgrade projects, rather than only the low-sulphur diesel production (LSDP) unit as originally planned (MEED 17:9:04).

The commercial debt package is likely to be worth about $700 million, upscaled from $350 million, and will be split into conventional and Islamic tranches. Among the banks that responded to the preliminary information memorandum (PIM), issued in August, were Arab Banking Corporation, Arab Petroleum & Investments Corporation (Apicorp), Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), Gulf International Bank, Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Mizuho Financial Groupand National Bank of Bahrain.

They join BNP Paribas and HSBC, which are acting as structuring agents on the transaction at the request of the Ministry of Finance & National Economy. All the banks have submitted dual Islamic and conventional offerings with the exception of Mizuho, which offered only conventional finance, and DIB and KFH, which only offered Islamic funding.

A further $300 million is split equally between Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and Nippon Export & Investment (NEXI). The engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the LSDP unit was awarded to Japan's JGC Corporationin December (MEED 2:1:04).

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