The assigned roles in the lead arranging group are: HSBC Investment Bankas security trustee; Credit Agricole Indosuezas international bookrunnner; KBC (Ireland)as the pre-financial close technical bank; Mizuho Financial Group as pre-financial close insurance bank; and BNP Paribasas the documentation and facility agent.

The remaining banks involved are Abbey National, Arab Banking Corporation, Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Credit Lyonnais, Gulf International Bank, HypoVereinsbank, Qatar National Bankand Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporation.

Documentation is due to be completed in mid-December, and signing will take place in January to coincide with the award of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, for which bids are under evaluation (MEED 18:10:02). General syndication will take place immediately after the signing.

The facility has a door-to-door tenor of 14 years and has a balloon mechanism that will range from 15-25 per cent depending on the path taken by the repayment schedule (MEED 25:10:02). It has a step up structure, carrying a margin of 75 basis points (bp) until completion, rising to 115 bp for the next three years, then to 135 bp for the following three years, and finally to 150 bp for the last four years.

The gas-to-liquids (GTL) project is the Middle East’s first. Production is due to begin by the end of 2005 with an initial capacity of about 33,000 barrels a day (b/d). QP holds a 51 per cent stake in QGTL and Sasol the remaining 49 per cent.