Mark Castillo-Bernaus

Partner, London

Biography

“Mark Castillo-Bernaus is a very affable and effective lawyer who does some of the biggest-ticket deals. He frequently advises on the financing of LNG and petrochemical projects. He is a very hard worker who is always extremely well prepared.” “Mark is a ‘great team player’, who is very strong in cross party negotiations, deal management and detailed documentation work.” (Chambers UK 2020 and 2021).

“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.” “His practice centres on providing representation for lender groups financing energy projects” (Chambers UK 2019).

“Mark leads on some of the largest project financing deals” and “knows how to find a balance between borrower and lender interests in the most efficient manner” (Legal 500 2022).

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, Russia, 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), and has led on some of the largest project financings to date.

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

Experience

Energy / Oil & Gas

Amur Gas Chemical Complex
Representation of the Sponsors, SIBUR Holding and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) on the US$9.1 billion financing of the Amur Gas Chemical Complex (Amur GCC) project in one of the world's largest and most advanced polymer production facilities. One of the largest downstream projects to close in 2021, involving Russian and Chinese commercial uncovered bank and international ECA covered financing.

Mozambique LNG
Representation of the Lenders, including several Export Credit Agencies and Development Financial Institutions, on the landmark US$25 billion project financing of Mozambique's first onshore LNG development, Mozambique LNG. This is the largest ever foreign direct investment into Africa. Awarded "Global Multilateral Deal of the Year" at the PFI Awards 2020.

Major Downstream Project in Middle East
Representation of the Sponsors in connection with the US$ multi-billion petrochemical project in the Middle East (ongoing).

Major Downstream project
Representation of the Sponsor in the development and financing of a multi-billion methanol and urea project in Russia.

Urea plant project
Representation of the lenders in a project financing of a urea plant in Togliatti.

Refinery Project in Kazakhstan
Representation of a major Export Credit Agency in its financing of a refinery project in Kazakhstan (ongoing).

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

Liwa Plastics in Oman
Representation of 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
Representation of over 13 lender groups, including several export credit agencies, in connection with the proposed financing of the multibillion Yamal LNG project in Russia.

Barzan Gas Project in Qatar
Representation of the sponsors, QatarEnergy 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
Representation of 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
Representation of the sponsors, QatarEnergy 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.

 

Power & Renewables

Financing of a solar assets in Latin America
Representation of a major ECA in its financing of a portfolio of solar assets in Latin America (ongoing).

Riyadh PP11 Power Project in Saudi Arabia
Representation of the Lenders on the financing and the subsequent two refinancings 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.

Saltend Power Project in UK
Representation of Investec and a group of lenders in connection with the financing of a 1200 MW CCGT project in Saltend, UK.

Nuclear Project in Europe
Representation of the Lenders of a financing of a nuclear Project in Europe. Major IPP Project in South Africa - Representation of the Lenders on the financing of a major US$ multi-billion IPP project in South Africa.

Shuweihat 2 IWPP in UAE
Representation of 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.

Sergipe Thermoelectric Power Plant in Brazil
Representation of the Lenders, including Goldman Sachs, IDB Invest, IFC and SERV, on the US$1.8 billion financing of a 1,516 MW thermoelectric power plant in Brazil, involving both conventional lending and investment grade secured senior notes.

Belwind Wind Farm in Belgium
Representation of 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.

 

Mining and Metals

Emirates Aluminium Project (Phase I and Phase II) in UAE
Representation of the lenders, including commercial banks and export credit agencies US Ex-Im, Bpifrance, 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.

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

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

Ranked as a Leading Lawyer for Projects, Chambers UK 2022

Ranked as a Leading Individual for Emerging Markets, Legal 500 UK, 2022