Mark Castillo-Bernaus

Partner, London

Biography

“Mark Castillo-Bernaus has been picked out as “very diligent” by his clients, who also note that “he fights alongside you in all your efforts.”
(Chambers UK 2019) “Mark Castillo-Bernaus is a “great team player” who is “very strong in cross-party negotiations, deal management and detailed documentation work.” He frequently represents ECAs in a range of energy projects.” (Chambers UK 2017)

Overview

Mark Castillo-Bernaus is global head of the firm's Project Development and Finance Group and is based in the London office.

Mark has acted for lenders, sponsors and borrowers in numerous project finance transactions covering a wide range of sectors such as oil and gas, energy, mining/metals and infrastructure. He has particular experience in large complex multi-sourced project financings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa involving export credit agencies and development financial institutions (including, among others, Atradius, the African Development Bank, Bpifrance, China Ex-Im, European Investment Bank, ECIC, Euler Hermes, Exiar, International Finance Corporation, JBIC, K-Exim, K-Sure, NEXI, SACE, UKEF and US Ex-Im).

Bars and Courts
Supreme Court of England and Wales
Education
LLM
Bristol University
LPC
Oxford Institute of Legal Practice
Languages
English

Experience

Urea plant project in Russia
Advising the lenders in a project financing of a urea plant in Togliatti, Russia

Major LNG Project in Africa
Advising several major Export Credit Agencies on a major US$multi-billion LNG project in Africa.

Major IPP Project in South Africa
Advised the lenders on the financing of a major US$multi-billion IPP project in South Africa.

Liwa Plastics in Oman
Advised six Export Credit Agencies (Atradius, Hermes, K-Exim, K-Sure, SACE and UKEF) and a large syndicate of international and regional banks in connection with the development and financing of the US$6.4 billion Liwa Plastics Industries Complex in Oman.

Yamal LNG Project in Russia
Advised over 13 lender groups, including several export credit agencies, in connection with the proposed financing of the multibillion Yamal LNG project in Russia.

Shuweihat 2 IWPP in UAE
Advised the sponsors, ADWEA, TAQA, GDF Suez, Marubeni and Osaka Gas, on the partial bond refinancing of the US$2.3 billion Shuweihat 2 IWPP. This deal was awarded the Middle East Bond Deal of the Year by Project Finance International and Project Finance magazine.

Emirates Aluminium Project (Phase I and Phase II) in UAE
Advised the lenders, including commercial banks and export credit agencies US Ex-Im, COFACE, Euler Hermes and K-Exim, in connection with the financing of both Phase I and Phase II of the US$10 billion Emirates Aluminium Project in the UAE. This deal was awarded the Middle East Industrial Deal of the Year by Project Finance International.

Riyadh PP11 Power Project in Saudi Arabia
Advised the lenders on the financing of the US$2.2 billion Riyadh PP11 independent power project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (including financing by way of commercial loans, Islamic financing instruments and export credit from US Ex-Im Bank). This deal was awarded the Middle East Power Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine.

Barzan Gas Project in Qatar
Advised the sponsors, Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil, on the US$10.3 billion Barzan Gas Project in Qatar. This deal was awarded 'Global Deal of the Year' by Project Finance Magazine and Middle East Oil & Gas Deal of the Year by Project Finance International.

Nord Stream Gas Pipeline
Advised Nord Stream AG in connection with the financing of the US$9 billion Nord Stream gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea (including financing from commercial banks, Euler Hermes, UKF and SACE). This deal was awarded European Gas Deal of the Year by Project Finance Magazine.

Qatargas 2, 3, and 4 LNG
Advised the sponsors, Qatar Petroleum and Shell on the US$6 billion Qatargas 4 LNG project financing, Qatar Petroleum and ConocoPhillips on the US$5.8 billion Qatargas 3 project financing (including financing from commercial banks, US Ex-Im Bank and JBIC), and Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil on the US$11.2 billion Qatargas 2 project financing (including financing from commercial banks, US Ex-Im Bank and SACE together with an Islamic facility). Qatargas 4 was awarded 'Middle East Oil & Gas Deal of the Year' by Project Finance Magazine, and Qatargas 2 – the largest energy project of any kind at the time – awarded Deal of the Year by Project Finance International.

Belwind Wind Farm in Belgium
Advising the European Investment Bank on the €700 million financing of an offshore wind farm in Belgium. This deal was awarded Power Deal of the Year by Project Finance International and "Wind Power Deal of the Year" by Project Finance Magazine.

Major Alumina Refinery in Guinea
Advising the sponsors, BHP Billiton, Mubadala, DUBAL and Global Alumina, on the financing of the US$4bn alumina refinery in the Republic of Guinea, involving over 9 development financial institutions, export credit agencies and commercial banks).

Major Telecoms financing in Africa
Advising several international financial institutions (EIB, IFC, ADB, AFD and KfW) on the financing of the EASSy telecoms cable project on the east coast in Africa.

Major Oil & Gas Financing in Mauritania
Advising the lenders on the first-ever limited recourse financing of a major oil & gas project in Mauritania, as well as the financing of the Imperial Energy Group.

Publications

Talking Point: The benefits of Project Bonds, Financier Worldwide Roundtable, May 2013

New EU regulation offers LNG market benefits, LNG Review, 2010

Awards and Recognition

Leading Lawyer, Chambers UK 2019
Projects – UK

Chambers UK 2018
"Mark Castillo-Bernaus acts on behalf of a wide variety of export credit agencies and banks. His areas of expertise include petrochemical developments and power projects. One client remarks: "He is extremely experienced in this field of work. He is always very well prepared, very diligent and a real team player."