White & Case advised on eight deals winning "Deal of the Year" awards from Project Finance International magazine.
"Only a truly global law firm that provides the highest quality legal advice and experience in many different industry sectors could have helped these clients navigate the complexity of their projects to successfully complete these landmark transactions," said Art Scavone, head of White & Case's Global Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance Practice. "We are pleased and proud that our clients' important projects have received recognition from Project Finance International magazine."
The winning deals were:
Middle East Petrochemical Deal of the Year—Sadara Chemical Company
We represented Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) on the project financing for Sadara Chemical Company, Saudi Aramco's joint venture with The Dow Chemical Company, to build and operate a US$20 billion world-scale integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The complex will be one of the largest integrated chemicals complexes in the world and the largest ever built in a single phase. The multi-sourced Sadara transaction is the largest-ever project financing in the chemicals sector.
"This deal was one of those that dominates a project finance year, given its sheer size and complexity, both as a huge new greenfield petrochemical plant complex and as a multi-sourced project financing," noted Project Finance International. It added that the deal was "one in which the project finance community can show off its structuring skills to global corporate sponsors."
Middle East Bond Deal of the Year—Refinancing of the Shuweihat S2 Independent Water and Power (IWPP) Project
We represented Ruwais Power Company PJSC and its sponsors—shareholders Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, International Power S.A., Marubeni Corporation and Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.—on the inaugural issuance of US$825 million of project bonds and the related refinancing of the Shuweihat 2 IWPP in Jebel Dhana, United Arab Emirates. This transaction was the first project bond offering by an IWPP in the Middle East.
"The Shuweihat 2 bond refinancing was certainly a challenging deal," according to Project Finance International. "But the template has now been set and other schemes, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere, will now be able to follow the important precedents set." Also, "the deal opened the deeply US investor base for global project refinancing."
Middle East Industrial Deal of the Year—Emirates Aluminum (EMAL) Smelter Project—Phase II
We represented the lenders on the Phase II expansion of the landmark US$10.2 billion EMAL smelter project in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. Upon completion of Phase II, the project will be one of the largest single site aluminum smelters in the world. White & Case advised the commercial banks in connection with conventional and Islamic tranches totaling US$3.4 billion, as well as four export credit agencies (US Ex-Im Bank, Hermes, Coface and Kexim) with respect to direct and ECA supported tranches totaling US$600 million.
Project Finance International commented: "The Emal 2 financing, at US$4bn, was seen as a challenging ask for the bank market when it came out in summer 2012. But by the time the deal was completed in May 2013 it was well oversubscribed, with loan pricing on the 15-year deal around the 250bp mark – very competitive at that time for an industrial scheme."
European Power Deal of the Year—Butendiek Offshore Wind Farm
We represented wpd group on the financing of the Butendiek offshore wind farm near Germany. The overall investment amounts to approximately €1.3 billion. The wind farm is situated in the German North Sea, approximately 30 kilometers west of the island of Sylt, and has 80 Siemens turbines providing a total capacity of 288 megawatts.
"This project was notable for the sheer amount of equity it raised from financial investors prior to financial close, €450m," noted Project Finance International. "This was one of the first times funds have taken construction risk on an offshore wind farm as well as the developer."
EMEA Road Deal of the Year—SAAOne A1/A6 Motorway Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project
We represented SAAOne, a consortium comprising Hochtief PPP Solutions GmbH, VolkerInfra PPP B.V., Boskalis B.V. and Dutch infrastructure fund DIF Infra 3 Finance B.V., on the financing of the €1 billion A1/A6 Diemen-Muiderberg-Almere Havendreef motorway PPP project in the Netherlands.
The deal was notable, wrote Project Finance International, because it "was the first in Europe to show that a range of its banks are still prepared to lend long-term to infrastructure projects." Another notable deal feature "was that the sponsor team won the scheme in November 2012 and managed to reach finance close by the end of February 2013, a quick turnaround."
African Petrochemical Deal of the Year—Indorama Eleme Fertilizer Complex in Nigeria
We represented the lenders on the US$1.2 billion financing of Indorama's nitrogenous fertilizer complex in Rivers State, Nigeria, the largest fertilizer plant in Africa. Upon completion in 2015, it will be the one of the largest fertilizer plants in the world.
According to Project Finance International, "The project debt was sizeable at US$800m and attracted DFIs, and local and international banks, bringing them all together in three separate tranches, without any ECA involvement."
Latin American Renewables Deal of the Year—Chaglla Hydroelectric Power Project in Peru
We advised Empresa de Generación Huallaga S.A., as borrower, and Odebrecht Energia S.A., as sponsor, in the development, construction and project financing of the US$1.2 billion, 406 megawatt Chaglla hydroelectric power generation project in Peru.
Project Finance International commented: "Peru, an economically awakening country, likes clean energy, so it supported the development of Chaglla…With plenty of hydro power this was a natural fit for Peru."
Latin American Oil & Gas Deal of the Year—Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited
We represented HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., Itau BBA USA Securities, Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, BB Securities Limited, BNP Paribas Securities Corp. and Santander Investment Securities Inc., as initial purchasers, and Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., DNB Markets, Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), Inc. and Natixis Securities Americas LLC, as co-managers, in a Rule 144A/Regulation S offering of US$1.69 billion notes by Odebrecht Offshore Drilling Finance Limited. The proceeds were used to make intercompany loans to refinance in full secured project financings originally granted to finance the construction of the ODN I and ODN II offshore oil drillships and the Norbe VI semi-submersible drilling rig, to pay costs and expenses in connection with this offering and for general corporate purposes.
The deal was significant, noted Project Finance International, "because the first half of 2013 was busy for deals in Latin America, but the summer doldrums led to delays and postponements for some sponsors. This bond offering was a large, international deal that sailed through because of the strong sponsor and offtaker."