The local/US Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company II (RasGas II)held clarification meetings on 20-24 June in London for the bank tranche on the integrated RasGas III project. Subscription to a bond issue, lead managed by Lehman Brothersand Goldman Sachs, is due to begin in mid-July (MEED 20:5:05).

Banks have been asked to respond to the preliminary information memorandum (PIM) by 8 July, with mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) scheduled to be appointed in mid-July. Commitments of $75 million on a take-and-hold basis are required, although banks are allowed to bid for more. The tenor is 15 years. Royal Bank of Scotlandis acting as financial adviser (MEED 10:6:05).

The balance between bank and bond debt on the deal will depend on the competitiveness of pricing, with the two due to close simultaneously.

RasGas II, a 70:30 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation, is looking for a total of $4,600 million in financing, covering trains 6 and 7 and the reverse financing of some elements on train 5. ExxonMobil is contributing co-lending of $1,380 million, and it is understood that the debt tranche will end up in the $500 million-1,600 million range and the bond portion between $1,600 million and $2,700 million.

The total cost of the RasGas II and III trains is about $13,000 million. Trains 3, 4 and 5 each have capacity of 4.7 million tonnes a year (t/y), while trains 6 and 7 will each produce 7.8 million t/y.