Nine sign up for Oman LNG loan

27 August 2004
A group of nine banks has signed the term loan with Oman LNGto finance the company's stake in the Qalhat LNG (QLNG)project. The preliminary information memorandum (PIM) is due to be issued imminently for the main debt package for QLNG, which entails the addition of a new 3.2 million tonne-a-year (t/y) liquefied natural gas (LNG) train to Oman LNG's existing facilities at Sur.

The banks, which took equal portions of the $175 million loan and of an $18 million revolving credit facility, are Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), ANZ Investment Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Calyon, Gulf International Bank, HSBC, ING Bank, Standard Charteredand Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporation. The margin on the eight-and-half-year loan has a step up structure, starting at 45 basis points (bp) for the first three years, rising to 50 bp in years four-six and going up to 55 bp in the final two and a half years.

The main shareholders in QLNG are the government and Oman LNG, with the offtakers - so far, Spain's Union Fenosaand Osaka Gas, Itochu Corporationand Mitsubishi Corporation, all of Japan - likely to take small equity stakes. The QLNG debt package is expected to be a 15-year financing of $550 million-600 million. Citigroupis the financial adviser on both transactions (MEED 2:7:04).

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