Saturday, 18 January 2020

Global Awards

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Global Bank of the Year – SMBC - SMBC had a very busy year across all global platforms – loans, bonds and advisory. The bank has 400 professionals across the world working on project finance. It has been involved in a range of landmark transactions this year.


Bank of the Year – SMBC

SMBC had a very busy year across all global platforms – loans, bonds and advisory. The bank has 400 professionals across the world working on project finance. It has been involved in a range of landmark transactions this year.

The bank’s long-term commitment to the asset class can be shown by its pursuit of new financial advisory mandates – a business line that takes up substantial team resources and involves long lead times.

SMBC currently has two such trophy mandates in the market – the US$3bn financing for Nigeria LNG and the US$6bn petrochemical financing for PTT Global Chemical and Daelim in Ohio, USA. Both deals should close next year. It has been mandated on 44 new advisory deals in 2019 and currently has 81 mandates on its books.

Stand-out advice to lending deals this year include the Mar 1 road deal in Colombia, the largest financing in the country’s history, and the Yunlin offshore wind farm in Taiwan, the first major offshore wind financing outside Northern Europe.

SMBC has built a substantial presence in Latin America and is able to utilise various funding structures to back up its clients. On the Mar 1 4GW deal, the bank advised on raising US$750m of debt for the Sacyr/Strabag/Concay team via multiple currencies, Colombian pesos, US dollars, UVRs and euros.

The deal has a flexible amortisation schedule and represents the largest mobilisation of pesos from non-Colombian financial institutions.

The bank then followed that transaction with the US$660m Mar 2 deal for a China Harbour-led team via China Development Bank and SMBC.

The Yunlin offshore wind financing in Taiwan was one of the stand-out deals of the year in the stand-out sector, offshore wind. It was the first mega offshore wind financing in Taiwan, a country that has an extensive offshore wind project pipeline.

The bank raised US$2.8bn of debt for the 640MW scheme. Wpd led the project alongside a range of Japanese shareholders. The deal has a mix of Taiwanese dollar and euro denominations and a mix of export credit agency (ECA) and uncovered debt.

SMBC has built up a global range of advisory mandates in the Gulf region over the last few years, with 22 mandates won this year in EMEA, mainly in the Gulf. It has advised on the development of the hugely significant Saudi renewables sector. It advised on the 300MW Sakaka pilot solar project last year and the 400MW Dumat al Jandal (DAJ) pilot wind project this year.

In EMEA, SMBC advised on one of more unique deals of the year – the £1bn acquisition of the rolling stock on the London Crossrail network for Equitix, NatWest and SMBC Leasing. The sale and leaseback structure was fully off-balance sheet for the client, Transport for London. Debt funders included Allianz, Nippon Life, Swiss Re, NatWest, BBVA, Bank of America and Norinchukin.

The bank has closed nearly 100 PF loans across the globe at the time of writing. In the Americas, it is happy to go into new areas, this year, for instance, transacting deals in Peru, Uruguay and Argentina. The same can be said in Asia-Pacific, where the bank has broken new ground in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

In EMEA, it has been a leader in the renewables sector and has financed nearly 4GW of capacity this year. The global renewables book is around 22GW.

In the bond space the bank has led more than 10 deals and is well known for its US private placement (US PP) capabilities via SMBC Nikko. In Peru, it raised US$220m for local solar company Ergon Solar and in Colombia it raised US$415m for the El Dorado Airport.

Other deals included MV24, Cochrane, La Bufa Wind, Brussels Airport, FLNG, Cheniere, Corpus Christi, Mong Duong, Brussels Airport and Thames Tideway.

The bank has three regional general managers, Mr Uchida in London, Carl Adams in New York and Rajeev Kannan in Singapore. Mr Miyake, general manager, is head of PF in Tokyo with a coordinating role.


Bond House of the Year – MUFG

MUFG led the project bond market globally this year with innovative transactions that spanned the sectors and accommodated evolving asset classes. While the bank did not top the market in volume terms for bonds, it led deals that created important new templates and demonstrated several firsts.

The bank’s bond desk is part of MUFG’s debt capital markets team. Over the past year it has been active in power, natural resources, infrastructure and renewable energy project finance transactions, and served as lead arranger on more than 15 project bonds.

In 2019 MUFG was lead arranger on the largest 4(a)(2) private placement, active bookrunner on the largest single asset pipeline transaction ever brought to the 144A market, and led on all three California-domiciled project bonds executed since PG&E’s bankruptcy filing.

Some of the bond transactions were done as part of larger, complex financing packages, exemplifying MUFG’s one-platform approach to serving its clients that blends the bank’s sector specialists, such as those in the renewable energy space, with its capital markets experts.

The bank also aims to provide product-agnostic advisory services focused on meeting clients’ needs, rather than being limited to a certain product.

MUFG’s project bond team for the Americas comprises six individuals with more than 35 years of combined experience.

In the Americas, key transactions for the year included multiple large deals for US LNG, continuing infrastructure activity in private activity bonds (PABs), refinancings, and a series of challenging deals in Latin America.

In the US, one leading deal was Bowie Acquisitions, a US$1.32bn 18.8-year private placement to finance Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners’ acquisition of a 25% stake in Dominion’s Cove Point LNG export project in Maryland.

The Bowie deal was notable as the largest private placement and the second largest project bond issue to be priced in 2019. The transaction demonstrated the bank’s increased comfort and ability to fund transactions with aggressive structures in the private placement market.

Additional notable US bond deals included Cheniere Corpus Christi’s US$1.5bn offering, NTE Mobility’s refinancing of a Texas managed-lanes project, and a transaction backing Northfield Mountain, a 1.1GW pumped storage hydro facility in Northfield, Massachusetts.

On the previously unleveraged Northfield project MUFG was able to bring in many first-time merchant, hydro and New England power market investors. The transaction was structured without amortisation but rather as a 15-year bullet, offering additional flexibility to the sponsor and maximising distributable cashflow.

A stand-out transaction in Latin Americas was La Bufa Wind, a US$225m private placement that refinanced project debt backing a 130MW BlackRock wind farm in Zacatecas, Mexico.

MUFG led the sizing and structuring of the bond issuance to meet investment-grade rating agency criteria and the sponsor’s funding objectives for the refinancing, acting as sole ratings adviser and leading the sponsors through the ratings process to achieve a BBB– rating from Kroll.

The bank approached a broad group of investors, with a focus on US investors that are active in the renewables space and familiar with Latin America to end up 1.4x oversubscribed despite political challenges in Mexico.

The bond team was also active in India, closing the Adani Green Energy transaction, which refinanced a portfolio of 10 operational utility-scale solar energy projects with 570MW of total installed capacity. The project was unique as the first-ever investment-grade project bond deal from the Indian renewable space.


Adviser of the Year – Santander

Banco Santander has emerged over the last few years as an active player in the global project finance market. From its home in Europe, it has built an impressive franchise of lending, advisory and capital markets capabilities.

Advisory is central to this platform. Indeed, the bank has established its own infrastructure debt advisory team. Santander has been able to get involved in some of the largest deals this year by picking up the advisory mandate and then taking important tickets in the subsequent deals.

One example of this approach was the sale of 40% of the East Anglian One offshore wind deal in the UK. Santander acted as the sole M&A and debt adviser to the seller, Iberdrola, and provided a 100% underwrite to the buyer, GIG. The £1.13bn financing was structured to avoid a mark-to-market value on the hedging, with CPI swaps at the holdco level mirroring back-to-back swaps at the finco.

Slightly more straightforward but bigger was the £2.5bn refinancing of the Beatrice offshore wind farm on which Santander was the adviser. The bank had success with its Moray East offshore wind farm financing in 2018 and is now advising on one of the only three UK offshore wind deals to win a contract for difference (CfD) this year, Sofia.

Other advise-to-lend mandates in the UK include the £350m Octopus wind refinancing and the long-term deal backing Drax’s £725m acquisition of Scottish Power’s 2.6GW non-wind farm power portfolio.

In Europe, the bank advised on the €800m solar PV refinancing in Isili in Sardinia. It advised on the first Assured Guaranty monoline wrapped deal in Spain, a €207m debt financing for Q-Energy. And it advised on the €1.1bn refinancing of the Europe-wide JP Morgan Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIF) wind portfolio.

In Norway, it advised Partners Group on its US$1bn acquisition financing of CapeOmega, the gas infrastructure business.

In the US, it structured the financing for the 525MW Aviator Wind Texas scheme sponsored by Ares, the largest single-phase, single-site wind deal in the country. Facebook will take 200MW of the power.

The bank is particularly strong in Latin America. It is currently advising on 15 deals in Peru, Columbia, Panama, Mexico and Chile totalling US$7bn of capex.

Notable deals closed this year include the Pasto–Rumichaca 4G roadway public-private partnership in Colombia for the Sacyr led team. The US$730m hard mini-perm eight-year deal is in dollars and needed a hedging strategy that mitigates the risk associated with income in pesos and debt in dollars.

In addition, there was the new debt raised for the Lima Metro Line 2 scheme with a bond deal totalling US$563m and a new US$150m loan. This is to pay for cost overruns on the project. In the same country, the bank raised US$33m via a US PP for the Longitudinal de la Sierra II PPP road.

In Ecuador, Santander structured the model and led the International Airport Finance (IAF) US$400m bond deal, a 14-year issue that was priced at 14%.

The infrastructure debt advisory team is based in Madrid, headed by Arturo Prieto. He reports to Benoit Flexi, global head of structured financed. The bank has 140 professionals working in eleven offices.


Sponsor of the Year – ACWA Power

ACWA Power had a pretty good year in 2018 with a range of deals reaching financial close but it started an even better 2019 by closing its monster concentrated solar power (CSP) in Dubai early on. The deal, at US$4.3bn, is one of the largest single renewable financings around the globe.

The company followed that up by financing more ground-breaking deals during the course of the year. And it has six more deals set to close early in the new year.

However, there are signs that as the deal pipeline in its home market in the Gulf grows, other established players are becoming as competitive as ACWA.

As one response, the company is looking more and more to new Asian markets. At year-end, the company had signed the financing for its US$2.5bn, 1.2GW Nam Dinh 1 coal-fired power project in Vietnam with a range of Chinese banks backed by guarantor Sinosure.

ACWA Power is a serial user of the project finance market, its banks and legal firms. In addition, it has established joint ventures with a host of international players including the Japanese and now most notably the Chinese. It has secured both Chinese contractors and Chinese debt and equity for its projects in a way few other developers have matched.

The DEWA CSP deal is simply massive and combines CSP central tower and parabolic trough with solar PV in one renewable scheme that can generate power all day. The deal mixes Western and Chinese finance and has won a PFI award itself.

Other notable deals include the Taweelah reverse osmosis (RO) independent water project (IWP) in Abu Dhabi, the Al Dur 2 independent power project in Bahrain, Umm-Al Quwain IWP, Rabigh 3 IWP and the Redstone CSP in South Africa.

The US$900m Taweelah RO scheme is the largest single seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) project in the world at 200m gallons a day. And the tariff obtained by the client on the project, EWEC, was the lowest at Dh7.80 per thousand imperial gallons for a SWRO. Not surprisingly, the bank pricing was low at 90bp, a level too low for many banks. Abengoa, Sepco III and PowerChina are the contractors.

Perhaps the most challenging transaction was the US$1.1bn Al Dur 2 IWPP deal in Bahrain. The Al Dur 1 IWPP project had a chequered history and Bahrain is sub-investment grade. But ACWA, in joint venture with Mitsui and Al Moayyed Contracting Group, competitively bid for the 1,000MW and 50m gallons a day project in October 2018 and then closed the deal in summer 2019.

Saudi Exim will provide its first ever loan to this project, there is US$200m tranche coming from a Euler Hermes and US$400m of long-term uncovered debt.

The US$700m Umm-Al Quwain deal was another major SWRO project, this time for 150m gallons a day. The scheme was the first project finance IPP/IWPP deal to benefit from a UAE Ministry of Finance guarantee, given the procurer is the Federal Electricity Water Authority (FEWA).

The project was procured by Mubadala and FEWA together. Mubadala and ACWA Power will hold 40% each of the project company and FEWA will have 20%. The EPC contractor on the scheme is a joint venture between China’s CGGC International and Sidem. The deal has soft mini-perm project financing.

ACWA closed the first IWP scheme in the Saudi programme – Rabigh 3. The scheme was bid with a world record low tariff for the time in 2018 at US$0.053 per cubic metre and the US$700m deal then closed in March this year via a soft mini-perm. Many more IWPs are on their way in Saudi.

In South Africa, ACWA finally closed its US$750m Redstone CSP project, which was awarded under Round 3.5 of South Africa’s REIPPP tender.

The deal had its ups and downs, including losing its technology provider, but in the end the transaction attracted an international mix of participants.

The contractors are Sepco 3 and PowerChina, while Brightsource is providing the technology. Nine debt funders were involved – AfDB, FMO, CDC, DEG, IDC, ABSA, DBSA Investec and Sanlam. Equity was provided by ACWA with 45%, Central Energy Fund 15%, KDI backed by UK Climate Initiative 15%, and Community Trust, backed by IDC and ACWA, 15%.

Next up, the US$10bn Jizan refinery utility financing plus solar deals in Saudi, Dubai and Oman.

ACWA Power is owned by a number of Saudi government institutions, the IFC and Saudi conglomerates. Its chairman is Mohammad Abunayyan, its president and CEO Paddy Padmanathan, and its managing director Thamer Al Sharhan.


Fund Manager of the Year – DIF Capital Partners

It has been a hugely active year for DIF Capital Partners, with over 20 deals closed at the time of writing and several more in the final stages. During the last 12 months, the fund manager has continued on an impressive campaign of diversification, expanding into brand-new markets in the process.

The Netherlands-headquartered group, which closed its first fund in 2006, has now nearly fully committed its fifth, the €1.9bn DIF V infrastructure equity fund, a year and a half after closing in May 2018. While the company has generally focused on medium-sized assets, 2019 has seen it dip its toes into larger asset markets.

Notably, it was involved in the equity group on the US$750m XPT Train fleet PPP in New South Wales, Australia and the €491m Liege tram PPP in Belgium, as well as leading a US$278m worker accommodation project in Western Australia.

The XPT deal, which raised just under A$1bn of debt from MUFG, Caixa Bank, HSBC, Societe Generale and Korean Development Bank, was said to need innovative structuring to meet the project and flexibility requirements set by Transport for New South Wales.

Its partners on the deal were CIMIC Group as lead equity sponsor and CAF Investment Projects, the latter of which was also involved with DIF in the Liege tram deal.

On that transaction, a €386m primarily fixed-rate debt facility was provided by Talanx and AG Insurance, fronted by Natixis, on margins below 150bp.

In 2019, DIF has not veered away from the kind of profitable and stable sectors that have served it so well over the years. The company closed at least six renewable energy acquisitions, with a few more yet to come.

DIF V closed two deals with Macquarie, acquiring the Australian group’s minority interest in the 58MW Poolbeg waste-to-energy scheme and taking 100% ownership of two wind farms in the US totalling 203MW.

Its clean energy conquest was highlighted by the acquisition of BluEarth Renewables, a company with 405MW of developed and acquired assets, from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP).

In terms of diversification, DIF has made significant forays into the oil and gas, transmission and fibre-optic markets. These investments, however, remain core infra deals.

At the end of November – and again through DIF CIF I – it acquired a 50% stake as part of a consortium in a French company that will own and operate a fleet of five yet-to-be-built LNG carriers.

At the start of the year, together with Aberdeen Standard Investments, it bought liquid oil products storage business Unitank and set up debt financing from Credit Agricole and SEB. The Hamburg-based company owns and operates five terminals in Germany and one in Belgium.

More recently, it prepared up to US$273m in equity funding for Queensland’s CuString to build a 1,100km transmission line and entered into a joint venture with Finland’s Cinia to build fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in the country. DIF holds 80.1% of the venture through DIF Core Infrastructure Fund I, a fund whose success has warranted the launching of a successor.

DIF was founded by Menno Witteveen and Maarten Koopman, and is led by managing partner Wim Blaasse and CFO Robert Doekes. It currently manages about €6bn of assets across its eight investment funds and split among over 200 infrastructure and renewable energy projects.


Investor of the Year – Meridiam

French infrastructure investor and fund manager Meridiam has spent 2019 expanding its global each, making a number of major investments in the emerging markets. Africa, in particular, has been the subject of significant deals.

Meridiam reached financial close on the US$310m Nouakchott port in Mauritania, the country’s first PPP. Together with Singapore’s Olam International, it raised US$160m from the AFC, with the lender now engaged in syndication talks.

In December, it signed a concession as part of a consortium with EDF and a SIFCA subsidiary to develop a 46MW biomass plant in Ivory Coast. AFD, Proparco and EAIF are expected to provide the financing. Construction will begin mid-2020 with commissioning targeted for 2023.

The company is playing a key role on the cross-border partnership between Ethiopia and Kenya on the Tulu Moye geothermal plant, envisaged to have a final capacity of 500MW. Meridiam and its project partner Reykjavik Geothermal awarded the drilling contract to KenGen in October.

Meridiam, together with compatriot Engie, closed the financing for two solar plants in Senegal – the 35MW Kahone Solaire and 25MW Kael Solaire – it had won under the IFC-run Scaling Solar programme.

The €47.5m projects were funded with €38m of debt provided by the EIB, Proparco and the IFC – the latter with the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program. An EIB filing showed the bank considering a €12m loan. MIGA issued €6.9m in guarantees towards the projects.

The year was highlighted by a number of firsts, if not for Meridiam, then for the countries or procuring authorities with which it has been working. The company was awarded, for example, Finland’s first social public-private partnership project: a 22-year concession to develop a number of schools and early learning centres in the city of Espoo. And in its home country, it has begun the construction of the first production unit of a new generation biofuel – HPCI black pellet – combined with a biomass cogeneration plant. The complex is a world first.

Perhaps the most interesting of Meridiam’s firsts is Allego, the first electric vehicle charging business to raise project finance-style debt. The investor signed a €150m debt financing in June with Kommunalkredit and Societe Generale on equal tickets, with both in the process of syndicating the loans. Allego will use the funds to expand its network of 12,000 charging points in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK by an additional 4,000.

But Meridiam has not veered from its traditional type of investment either, signing two fresh concession agreements for a waste-to-energy plant in Poland and a 34MW run-of-river hydro scheme in Gabon.

Closer to home, the company completed a €2.2bn refinancing of the South Europe Atlantic (SEA) high-speed rail line from Paris to Bordeaux at the very end of 2018. The deal – France’s largest infrastructure refinancing – was led by Societe Generale as global coordinator, working with BBVA and Credit Agricole as underwriters. The three banks were also MLAs together with BNP Paribas and SMBC.

In the US, it ended the year by winning the monster University of Iowa utility deal, again with Engie and pricing bonds on its NTE Mobility managed lanes deal in Texas.

Meridiam, founded by Thierry Deau in 2005, has already established itself as a major international player in the infrastructure sector. 2019 has seen a continuation of this form and, with a variety of pioneering projects added to its stable this year, it is a worthy recipient of this award.


Law Firm of the Year – Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling has been one of the stalwarts of the global project finance market ever since Ken MacRitchie and Nick Buckworth left the tender mercies of Milbank to join the firm in the mid-1990s.

Since then, the firm has grown its global practice. It has transacted the whole range of classic and non-classic international PF deals. However, as the legal market has become ever-more competitive, Shearman & Sterling has been concentrating on the more complex deals within the large-scale international projects space where it can add value. The emerging markets have become a focus.

The firm is one of the leading players in the market and its range of deals closed this year is, as ever, impressive. The trick from now on for the firm is to keep finding these types of deals.

LNG-to-power is one of the more complex sectors, by definition. Combining two projects into one is a challenging task, and one that the lawyers can get their teeth into.

Shearman was involved in the major LNG-to-power scheme last year, the US$1.7bn Jawa 1 in Indonesia, on the sponsor side and was involved on the lenders’ side this year on the big deal, the US$1.2bn, 1,300MW GNA Acu scheme in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The project-financing has local currency funding, to add to the complexity, provided by BNDES, the IFC, KfW IPEX and export credit agency Euler Hermes. Further phases will be added as Brazil seeks to reduce its reliance on hydro power during droughts.

Other projects in the Americas market financed this year include the 1,200MW Jackson Power, J-Power, IPP deal, a US$1.2bn transaction for the Chicago Parking Meters concession and a US$640m Water Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (WIFIA) financing for two borrowers in one deal, Tualatin Valley Water District and the City of Hillsboro. It was also on the innovative Enel Green Power solar PV portfolio financing in Mexico.

The firm was involved in two of the stand-out financings in Asia this year – RAPID and the Mong Duong 2 refinancing. Shearman worked for Petronas on the US$9.5bn RAPID financing. Financial close has finally been achieved after years of work on the multi-tranched petrochemical financing in Malaysia and Shearman was on the deal from the start.

Mong Duong 2 was slightly smaller at US$1bn but the deal was the first project bond issue and first refinancing in Vietnam. The firm acted for the sponsor on the joint bond and bank deal.

At year-end it added another major Vietnamese deal by acting for the lenders on the signing of the US$2.5bn, 1.2GW Nam Dinh 1 coal-fired power plant being developed by ACWA Power and Taekwang Power. In addition, it was involved in the multilateral-funded Upper Trishuhi Hydro and Super Six wind projects in Nepal and Pakistan, plus the Nam Dinh IPP financing in Vietnam.

In the EMEA region, the firm was involved in three classic emerging market project financings – GAC, Bapco and GTA FLNG. The US$1.4bn Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) was undertaken in an extremely challenging location but with a goldplate sponsor, Emirates Global Aluminium. The bauxite mine was funded by a range of development finance institutions and commercial banks.

Bapco was tricky in that the US$4.3bn deal involves the expansion of an existing refinery, never easy to finance, in a sub-investment grade country. GTA FLNG is for a project off Mauritania and Senegal for Golar LNG, Shearman’s client. The deal involves financing the Gimi vessel to process 2.5mtpa of LNG.

Leading partners in the practice include Nick Buckworth, now global head of finance, and Iain Elder in London. Head of the global practice group is Gregory Tan in New York, while Bill McCormack and Ben Shorten cover Asia from Singapore.


Multilateral Deal of the Year – GAC

An international group of development finance institutions (DFIs) led a US$750m debt package to finance one of the largest greenfield mining project financings in African history.

Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Global Aluminium’s project consists of a 12m-tonnes-per-year open-cast bauxite mine with associated rail, port and marine infrastructure in the country’s north-western Boke province. It has capex of US$1.4bn, into which the investment fund-owned EGA had already invested a significant amount of equity by the time financial close was achieved in May. It is being developed through project company and EGA subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC).

The IFC, AfDB, Export Development Canada (EDC), Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and DEG combined to lead the financing, with the IFC syndicating a B-loan tranche to a commercial bank club. The debt will partially refinance some of EGA’s up-front investments.

The IFC provided US$330m, including the syndicated portion, while MIGA raised political risk guarantees of US$129m. Financial adviser Societe Generale was joined on the 12-year B-loan by ING, BNP Paribas, Natixis, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NDB and Mashreq Bank.

SG was mandated in 2014 to structure the deal, while the project was still in its early stages.

The project is significant for its strategic nature and its position as one of many firsts in the Guinean project finance space, including the first time that multilateral institutions and international commercial banks have joined such a project in the country.

Guinea is a key part of the global aluminium supply chain, home to the world’s largest deposits of bauxite. “This project has defined a sustainable framework for Guinea project finance deals,” said SG’s Stephanie Clement de Givry at the time.

It is also at least nine times larger in capex terms than any previously project-financed mining scheme in Africa. This is due to the risk inherent in any mining deal at every stage of the development cycle and the usually capital-rich mining companies. But for several reasons EGA was willing and able to structure a project finance-style deal.

EGA was motivated by a vertical integration strategy to complement existing investments such as its refining and smelting operations in the UAE. Revenues will be derived from a long-term offtake agreement between EGA and GAC, in which the former will buy a minimum quantity of bauxite per year deemed enough to generate the cashflow needed to cover the operational expenses and debt services.

There was also no need to finance new infrastructure to make the project technically feasible, as the sponsor would be able to share existing rail infrastructure in north-western Guinea. A significant challenge was defining how the infrastructure would be shared with the Rusal and CBG mining projects, as it is very unusual for mining projects to operate in this way.

Shearman & Sterling, SD Avocats, Akin Gump and Walkers were legal counsel for the sponsor; Allen & Overy, Bao & Fils and Maples & Calder were legal counsel for the lenders; while DLA Piper and Sylla & Partners were legal counsel for the government. ING handled due diligence for the commercial banks.

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