WEC signs Shuaibah finance

13 January 2006
Financing documents were signed in late December for the debt package on the Shuaibah independent water and power project (IWPP), with 23 banks joining the five core mandated lead arrangers (MLAs). The commercial financing consists of a $947 million conventional tranche and a $210 million Islamic tranche.

Both have a tenor of 20 years and a step-up pricing structure starting at 120 basis points (bp) pre-completion, falling to 115 bp from completion to year seven, and then rising according to a grid to 170 bp. Most of the banks participating in the conventional commercial tranche also committed to a 17.5-year, $400 million export credits portion covered by Germany's Hermes. The final element of the financing is a $402 million direct loan from Export-Import Bank of Korea (Kexim).

Financial close is due in mid-January, which will trigger the notice to proceed on the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, to be carried out by Germany's Siemens for the power island and South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries & Constructionfor the desalination. The developer on the IWPP is a local/Malaysian team of ACWA Powerwith Malakoff Berhad, Khazanah Nasional and Tenaga Nasional Berhad; the client is government-owned Water & Electricity Company(MEED 16:12:05).

www.meed.com/bankingfinance

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