Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the financiers on a landmark US$3 billion first in class hybrid corporate financing to Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), a joint venture owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell, Total and Eni to develop the NLNG Train 7 Project, which signed on the 13 May 2020.
"This first of its kind hybrid corporate financing is very important for Nigeria and sets the benchmark for future LNG facility financings globally," said White & Case partner Jason Kerr, who led the Firm's deal team. "This successful multi-source corporate financing with key Export Credit Agencies, Development Finance Institutions and international and Nigerian commercial banks in the midst of a global pandemic and the worst oil and gas crisis in history shows the esteem in which NLNG is held in the international markets."
The financiers to the transaction included the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (KSURE), SACE, African Export-Import Bank, Africa Finance Corporation, and over 16 international commercial banks and 10 Nigerian commercial banks.
The large and complex financing is the first time that the development of an LNG project has been financed using a multi-sourced corporate loan structure. The financing is also the largest in Africa this year. The proceeds will be applied by NLNG towards the development, design, engineering, construction and operation of the NLNG Train 7 Project in Nigeria.
Once operational, NLNG's Train 7 which comprises a complete train and a common liquefaction unit will add around eight million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of capacity to the Bonny Island facility, taking the total to around 30 mtpa. Currently operating six processing units, or trains, Train 7 will bolster NLNG's contribution to the development of the country by generating revenues for the Nigerian government and delivering key natural gas products for domestic and international use.
The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partner Jason Kerr (London) and included partners David Baker and Richard Hill (both London) and Iacopo Canino (Milan), counsels Tallat Hussain (London) and Sarah Park (Seoul), and associates Gabriel Onagoruwa, Gemma Patterson, Zahra Knapper, Judith Olloh, Sara Nehring and Amy Watts (all London) and Mijin An (Seoul). The Nigerian legal counsel to the financiers was Templars represented by partners Oghogho Akpata, Chike Obianwu and Zelda Akindele along with Victor Igwe, Dupe Dabiri and Benita Ogbodo.
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