Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a syndicate of around 20 development financial institutions and commercial lenders on the financing of the US$1 billion expansion of a world-scale urea fertilizer production facility near Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
"This financing will enable the project company and its partners to develop the world's largest single train urea facility through a widespread expansion programme," said White & Case partner Gareth Hodder, who co-led the Firm's deal team. "The transaction is another great example of the way that international White & Case teams from across our global network collaborate across borders and across practices to support clients on their most important, complex, cross-border deals."
IFC will directly lend US$100 million and mobilize an additional US$850 million of loans from other developmental financial institutions and commercial banks to the project company, Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Ltd Nigeria. Another US$50 million in financing will also be made available from IFC's Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program.
As well as IFC, other lenders to the project include the European Investment Bank, CDC Group PLC, African Development Bank, PROPARCO, FMO, DEG, Bank of Baroda, Standard Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, ICICI Bank Limited and Citibank.
The existing plant has been operational since 2016 and has transformed Nigeria from a net fertilizer importer into a self-sufficient producer, and now a net exporter of fertilizer. According to published sources, the plant exported 700,000 tonnes of urea to West African and North and South American markets during 2017. This new financing will enable Indorama to double the capacity of the existing facility from 1.4 million tonnes per year to 2.8 million tonnes, moving production further into the international export market and making it the world's largest single train urea fertilizer plant on completion.
The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Gareth Hodder (Johannesburg) and Mukund Dhar (London) and associate Deji Adegoke (London), and included partner Ray Simon (New York) and associates Dann Irving, Ahyoung Koo, Sarah Hudson (all London), Lisa Kahimbaara, Rosanna Bibis (both Johannesburg) and Jake Jung (New York).
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