Global law firm White & Case LLP advised Braskem Idesa SAPI in securing US$3.2 billion in financing for the Etileno XXI project, a US$4.5 billion integrated petrochemicals project located in Veracruz, Mexico. The project is the largest deal to close in Mexico and Latin America in 2012.
Seven governmental agencies and 10 commercial banks from around the world participated in the financing of the complex. It is the largest private sector investment in a single project in the history of Mexico, and the largest project financing ever in the petrochemical industry in the Americas.
"In this liquidity constrained environment, bringing such a diverse group of lending institutions for the first time under a common structure and negotiating a set of very favorable terms for the project makes this one of the largest, most innovative and groundbreaking projects ever closed in Latin America," says White & Case Project Finance Partner Carlos Viana, who along with Partner Sean Goldstein led the Firm's team of lawyers from seven offices working on the project.
Braskem Idesa SAPI is a joint venture formed by Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resin producer in the Americas, and Grupo Idesa, a leading Mexican petrochemical company. The White & Case team worked closely with the in-house legal team at Braskem, led by general counsel Mauricio Ferro and his team including Gustavo Valverde, Nick Sprague and Rodrigo Santos, as well as Juan Ruenes at Braskem Idesa.
Braskem Idesa has indicated that the complex is strategically located in an area with high potential for new oil and gas reserves.
Etileno XXI will utilize Mexico's ethane resources to produce polyethylene, the world's most common building block used in manufacturing plastics, for the construction, consumer, automotive and agricultural industries.
Braskem Idesa believes the project will be an important contributor for economic growth in Mexico's southeast region, creating thousands of jobs and addressing the imbalance in Mexico's current polyethylene production and demand by eliminating the need to import US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion of polyethylene annually.
"By reducing the demand for polyethylene imports, Etileno XXI will bolster the competitiveness of the Mexican petrochemical sector and support economic growth and industrial development," says Viana.
"This project signals a reemergence of the petrochemical sector in Mexico, which we hope will continue to benefit from the government's increased support of further opening the country's vast oil and gas resources for private investment and development," adds Goldstein.
White & Case provided US, Mexican and English law advice on the project's design, construction, development, permitting, technology licensing, operations, equity funding and project financing, leveraging the Firm's multi-jurisdictional capabilities with a core legal team based in Mexico City and the US, with support from London.
White & Case has advised on some of the most complex and cutting edge oil & gas and petrochemical projects in the last few years, including the US$9.9 billion Rabigh integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia, the €7.4 billion Nord Stream offshore gas pipelines and the Barzan Gas Project, the largest project finance deal to close in 2011 and the largest single financing project ever undertaken in Qatar.
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