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Giant Abu Dhabi IWPP nears financial closure

Long-running Shuweihat 2 saga gets green light

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Abu Dhabi's Shuweihat 1 plant.
Abu Dhabi's Shuweihat 1 plant.

The massive Shuweihat 2 IWPP in Abu Dhabi is back on track, with sponsors of the project confirming that 12 banks have been lined up to provide US $1.1 billion over a 22-year period in loans to finance the project.

The initial bridging loan had been due to mature at the end of September.

This marks a major success not just for Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), which holds 60% in the project, but also for the GCC project finance sector in general. It comes shortly after Bahrain won financing for its Al Dur IWPP earlier this month.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2011 and will consist of a 1,500MW natural gas-fired power station and a desal plant capable of producing 454,610 cubic metres of water a day.

GDF Suex and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation each hold a 20% stake in the planned facility.

Reuters reported that the strong sponsors and the presence of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation saw the deal home. Four of the 12 banks in the syndicate are Japanese.

The news agency quoted a banking source as saying that lenders in the closing stages of agreeing the $1.1 billion loan are Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BayernLB, BNP Paribas, HSBC, KfW, Mizuho, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Samba, Standard Chartered Bank, Societe Generale, SMBC and Sumitomo Trust.

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