MLAs selected for Bapco finance

22 October 2004
Letters were sent to 10 banks on 18 October asking them to confirm their commitment as mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) on the 12-year commercial debt financing for Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco). The facility has been upsized to $1,000 million and will now cover both the low-sulphur diesel production (LSDP) unit and other elements of Bapco's investment programme (MEED 8:10:04).

Banks have been asked to confirm their undertakings by 8 November, with the final appointment of MLAs due the following day. Eight banks have been invited to join the transaction with BNP Paribasand HSBC, which are acting as structuring agents. They are 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. All have offered both Islamic and conventional solutions, with the exception of KFH and DIB, which are offering solely Islamic finance, and Mizuho, which is offering only conventional funding.

The conventional tranche is now expected to be worth $370 million and the Islamic tranche $330 million. A further $300 million facility will be split equally between Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and Nippon Export & Investment (NEXI). The engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract on the LSDP unit is being carried out by Japan's JGC Corporation. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tender is due to be issued imminently for the next phase of the refinery upgrade project, the refinery gas desulphurisation unit (see Oil & Gas).

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