White & Case Advises on Landmark US$2.73 Billion Nacala Corridor Project

Press Release
2 min read

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Vale S.A. and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on the development and US$2.73 billion financing of the landmark Nacala Corridor Railway and Port Project, an integrated and transformative infrastructure project supporting growth along a regional corridor shared by two countries, Mozambique and Malawi.

This major cross-jurisdictional infrastructure project comprises the construction of a 912km railway line to transport coal from Vale's and Mitsui's mine in Moatize, Mozambique across Malawi (including 682km of brownfield land) to a new coal port in Nacala-à-Velha, on the eastern coast of Mozambique. The project, which also includes the construction of a deep sea port and associated terminal infrastructure at Nacala-à-Velha, required an agreement to be entered into between the Government of Mozambique and the Government of Malawi. Once completed, the landmark Nacala Corridor Railway and Port Project and its financing will provide a template for other significant resource-based infrastructure projects in Africa.

"This is a large-scale, innovative, highly complex, cross-jurisdictional infrastructure project. It has been a privilege to support our clients and see the positive benefits that they, the project, and the project finance lenders are bringing to Mozambique and Malawi" said London-based White & Case partner Caroline Miller Smith, who led the Firm's deal team.

"There are always the usual challenges with a very large multi-source project financing, but this transaction was truly unique - starting with a highly complex lending structure with eight loan facilities advanced to four borrowers in two countries" said London-based White & Case partner Carina Radford.

White & Case advised Vale S.A. and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on all aspects of the landmark transaction including project development and drafting and negotiating project, corporate and finance documents. A team of lawyers from offices across the Firm's global network negotiated 108 sophisticated documents involving a multitude of third party service providers and around 14 financial institutions - commercial banks, development funds and governmental export-credit agencies (including Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa and African Development Bank).

The Firm developed an agreement between the two governments, negotiated direct agreements and associated documents with each of the Government of Mozambique and the Government of Malawi and prepared submissions to the central banks of both countries in order to obtain approval for an innovative account structure which was essential for the bankability of the transaction.

The White & Case team in London which advised on the transaction was led by partners Caroline Miller Smith and Carina Radford and included partners Philp Stopford and Ed Attenborough; counsel Tallat Hussain; and associates Deji Adegoke, Fern Han, Alec Johnson, Kamran Ahmad, Mark Andrews, Nic Kennedy, Dayle Perles Fattal, Bruna Beloso, Yuri Kim, Joanna Walker, Mariana Lavanchy, Helen Steininger, Hiba Abdullahi, Ronan O'Reilly and Radhika Wason. White & Case lawyers in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Washington DC and Dubai provided support throughout the transaction.

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