The sponsors of the Petro-Rabigh petrochemicals complex have appointed the UK’s HSBC and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as financial advisers for the second-phase expansion of the project.

The scheme is expected to be similar in size to the $10bn first phase of the project, completed in November 2009.

In December, sponsors Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Company awarded a contract to oversee feasibility studies for phase two of the Petro-Rabigh project to the US’ Kellogg Brown & Root (MEED 14:12:09).

Phase one produces more than 20 million tonnes a year (t/y) of petroleum and petrochemicals products.

On completion, phase two should produce an additional 30 million cubic feet a year of ethane and 3 million t/y of naphtha.

Financing for phase one was completed by Sumitomo Mitsui in March 2006, and split between a $5.8bn debt tranche and $4bn of equity.

The debt tranche consisted of a $2.5bn 15-year loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, a $1bn loan from the local Public Infrastructure Fund, a $1.7bn bank loan, and a $600m Islamic finance loan.

All the debt had a tenor of 15 years and pricing of 35 basis points above the London interbank offered rate (Libor), rising to 65 basis points after completion.

The Petro-Rabigh project is on the Red Sea coast.