Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the lenders on the Phase II expansion of the landmark US$10.2 billion Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) smelter project in Abu Dhabi. Upon completion of Phase II, the project will be one of the largest single site aluminium smelters in the world, and will include the worlds' largest single potline at 1.7 km and annual production capacity of approximately 1.3 million tonnes.
The Firm advised the commercial banks in connection with conventional and Islamic tranches totalling US$3.4 billion, as well as four export credit agencies (US Ex-Im, Hermes, Coface and Kexim) with respect to direct and ECA supported tranches totalling US$600 million.
"The continued development of the EMAL smelter project is a significant step for the aluminium market in the Middle East" said White & Case partner Mark Castillo-Bernaus. "The successful completion of the first phase and the closing of this expansion financing reflects the confidence lenders have in this milestone project, which represents one of the largest industrial projects in the UAE outside the oil & gas sector."
The Firm originally advised the commercial lenders and US Ex-Im, Hermes and Coface on the financing of the US$5.7 billion first phase of development, with the commercial bank tranche for Phase I closing in 2007, and the ECA tranches for Phase I closing in 2010. The Phase I Project became operational in 2011.
The White & Case team was led by London-based partner Mark Castillo-Bernaus and Abu Dhabi based partner Margaret Cole. They were supported by partners Shibeer Ahmed (Abu Dhabi) with respect to Islamic matters, Chris Utting (London) and Ned Neaher (Washington DC), as well as a team of associates based in London and Abu Dhabi, including Meredith Campanale, Matt Wood, Nneka Wood, Sherief Rashed, Alex Malahias, and Richard Blackburn.
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