Banks are being asked to bid for take-and-hold positions of $100 million. The tenor is 16 years and commitment letters are due to be signed on 6 October, with documentation completed by the end of November and financial close reached in mid-December.

The sponsors are looking for bank commitments of $2,550 million, but with a view to an eventual commercial tranche of $1,550 million. The final amount will be dependent on the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) providing about $1,000 million, for which advanced negotiations are ongoing.

The PIM suggests that if JBIC funding is not forthcoming, a capital markets option is being considered by Qatargas 3, a 70:30 joint venture of Qatar Petroleum (QP)and the US’ Conoco Philips. A credit rating is being sought. Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II(RasGas II), a tie-up between QP and the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation, recently raised $2,250 million through a bond issue to part-finance the RasGas III LNG project (MEED 12:8:05).

In addition, the US’ Export-Import Bank is providing $300 million to Qatargas 3 and Conoco will raise $1,216 million on its own account. Qatargas 3 is the project company for train 6 at the Qatar Liquefied Gas Company (Qatargas)complex. Total project costs for the 7.8 million-tonne-a-year train are estimated at about $5,800 million.

Royal Bank of Scotlandis understood to have been appointed financial adviser on Qatargas 4, a joint venture of QP and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, which will handle train 7. Negotiations have been held with a team of Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation and Paris-based Technipfor the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts covering both trains (MEED 6:5:05).