Barka 3/Sohar 2
Portland Advisers acted as financial adviser to GDF Suez on its successful bids for two 750MW gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine IPPs at Barka and Sohar in the Sultanate of Oman. During the 4 month bid development period Geoff Knox and James Benbow were based predominantly at GDF Suez’s Dubai office working closely with GDF Suez’s development team. They were responsible for all the financial aspects of the bids, which were submitted in December 2009, including:
- Development of long-term project finance packages totaling $1.35 bn involving support from two export credit agencies (Euler-Hermes of Germany and Korea Eximbank) and selection of a syndicate of 7 commercial banks acting as MLAs
- Preparation of an Information Package for financial institutions
- Preparation and negotiation of detailed term sheets and commitment letters with lenders and export credit agencies involving sponsor and lender legal counsel
- Preparation of sponsor ‘s financial models including tariff optimization
- Review of project agreements and construction term sheet with EPC contractor (Siemens AG and GS Engineering & Construction Ltd)
- Ownership and tax structuring including the appointment of a local tax and accounting advisor
- Preparation of bid materials
Portland Advisers assisted with the bid clarification process and negotiation with the government leading to award of both projects to the GDF Suez consortium. The deals closed in September 2010. It was awarded “Middle East Power Deal of the Year 2010” by Project Finance International.
GDF Suez, acting through Suez-Tractebel SA, is the market leader in the Middle East IPP market, having bid successfully in recent years for power projects in UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. GDF Suez’s IPP business merged with International Power plc in 2011.