Syndication closed on Sohar IWPP debt

05 November 2004
Syndication has closed on the $545 million debt package for the developer group - led by Belgium's Tractebel- awarded the Sohar independent water and power project (IWPP) in July. The facility is split into a $410 million commercial loan and a $135 million equity bridge and was lead arranged by BNP Paribasand Standard Chartered Bank (MEED 2:7:04).

The 17.5-year commercial debt has a step-up structure, starting at 115 basis points (bp) during the two-and-a-half year construction phase, falling to 110 bp until March 2010, rising to 120 bp for the next three years, then to 135 bp for the next three-and-a-half years and then to 160 bp until 2022. Joining the deal at the sub-underwriting phase, which carried fees of 105 bp, were Bank Muscat, Bayerische Landesbank, Gulf International Bank (GIB), HSBC, KBC Bankand Sumitomo-Mitsui Banking Corporation. Also coming on board at syndication were Arab Bank, Bank Dhofar, Mizuho Financial Group, Natexis Banque Populaire, National Bank of Oman, Nord LB, Mediocredito, Oman Arab Bank and Oman International Bank.

The equity bridge was provided by Bayerische Landesbank, BNP Paribas, Fortis, GIB, KBC, Oman Arab Bank and Sumitomo. The Sohar IWPP project calls for the construction of a plant with capacity of 585 MW and 30 million gallons a day (g/d). Next on the government's private power agenda is the brownfield IWPP covering the acquisition of the existing 687.5-MW, state-owned power plant at Rusayl and implementation of the Barka phase 2 scheme, adding about 450 MW and 20 million g/d of capacity to the plant. Bids are under evaluation from seven teams of advisers for the project (MEED 8:10:04).

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