Americas Energy Report 2006
IGCC - New hope for coal: Coal - a traditional and relatively plentiful fuel source for US power generation - is again attracting significant attention from US power generators.
With a line-up of banks like Plum Point has and the huge amount of market interest in coal, it seemed like an easy sell. By Alison Healey.
Production capacity in the bio-fuels industry in the US and worldwide has seen sustained double-digit growth for more than 10 years. Jerome P Peters, Senior Vice-President, TD Banknorth Project Finance.
One of the more intriguing trends in LNG import projects is the increasing tendency of international LNG suppliers to require so-called step-in rights. By Daniel Rogers, a partner in the Houston office of King & Spalding LLP.
ABN AMRO has led a US$160m bond offering for AES Dominicana Energia Finance. By Alan Gersten.
Global Energy Report 2006
Pricing is on everyone's minds these days. I like the comment from International Power's Dr Ranald Spiers in the PFI Middle East Review last month. "Tenors grow even longer, margins tighter - and yet our banking friends have never enjoyed such bumper profits, so there must still be room for improvement!"
The banking market for wind project financings has changed dramatically over the past few years, with lenders now reaching a level of competitiveness that many market participants are starting to view as dangerous. And now the market is struggling to come up with a structure that will work with merchant wind. By Alison Healey.
Are capital market products replacing bank loans in project finance? By Jim Guidera, group head, project finance, Calyon Americas.
Project finance experts are looking south of the border for energy deals, particularly in Mexico. At least 15 major Mexican energy projects, totalling more than US$6bn, are planned in the next few years, providing major opportunities for project financing. By Alan Gersten.
The refinancing of Loy Yang A's A$2.36bn project loan at the end of last year set a benchmark for the market going forward. By Sharon Klyne.
Ranhill Powertron (RPSB) successfully reached financial close for its M$540m Islamic medium-term notes programme last year. By Jaccob Thomas, chief executive officer of MP Capital Advisory.
On the last business day of 2005, Gulf Power Generation Co Ltd (Gulf Power) successfully closed the financing of a 1,468MW CCGT power plant that is to be located in Kaeng Khoi, Thailand. This marked yet another milestone in the re-establishment of the debt market for Thai infrastructure. By Paul Elliott and Sawanee Sethsathira, Baker & McKenzie and Mizuho Corporate Bank.
Bulgaria's €1.1bn Maritza East I (MEI) power plant may be the country’s first large-scale, wholly privately-owned power plant - and indeed the largest foreign investment in the aspiring European Union member state - but it also proved to be a landmark in terms of project finance. By Antony Collins.
Qatar General Transport Company (QGTC) has been squeezing shipowners, and their funding banks, on its series of large LNG ship deals. The process is going so far the company might now be squeezing the shipowners out altogether, although the banks will still need to be around. By Rod Morrison.
The long-running US$3.7bn Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline may have taken a turn for the worse at the end of 2005 - with bitter rows erupting over financial agreements between the World Bank and Chad - but the commercial sector remains resolutely realistic about both the project and the region. By Antony Collins.
Asia Pacific Report 2006
Ratch Power sails smoothly: Ratchaburi Power has been one of the most trouble-plagued IPPs in Thailand, but nonetheless, the financing process has been completed smoothly and efficiently.
India was the recent venue of the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank. The choice seems timely and appropriate now that the country is trying to move past the Dabhol saga, and is embarking on massive power plant developments. By Minerva Lau.
For some decades, the borrowing base facility has played an important role in enabling the oil and gas industry to secure debt finance for its upstream activities. Yet the product has been notable for its absence in the hydrocarbon provinces of South East Asia. By Adrian Cheng and Michelle Chen of Herbert Smith.
Borrowing base lending techniques continue to provide flexible solutions to exploration & production companies in Indonesia. By Ken Hawkes, consultant with Lovells; Brad Sterley and Lindsey Millane of ANZ Investment Bank.
Japan's first 3G mobile credit has hit the market and is largely expected to receive a warm reception. The deal is by far the largest non-recourse project finance ever arranged in the world for a telecom greenfield project By Masahiro Urakabe, senior vice president, Mizuho Management Advisory Co.
The Penang Bridge extension bond issue is the only toll road credit to hit the Malaysian bond market this year. By Lee Chin Tok, senior vice-president, debt capital markets & syndicate, Commerce International Merchant Bankers.
The South Korean private infrastructure programme has recently expanded into the provision of social infrastructure. While the expanded market is still largely for domestic players, there are increasing opportunities for international third-party service providers. By Sharon Klyne.
This article highlights the key water sector challenges faced by countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The challenges vary in intensity and nature between different countries in the region. By Patrick Docherty and Sharad Somani of the Global Infrastructure and Projects team of KPMG Corporate Finance, Singapore.
Middle East Report 2006
Growth on the plateau: Project Finance International's second projects survey, accompanying this Middle East report, shows significant growth - perhaps.
What a fantastic time to be in the Middle East! By Dr Ranald Spiers, director Middle East, International Power.
The recently launched initiatives in the power and water sectors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have many unique and promising features. By Ghazali Inam, vice-president and senior corporate finance officer, Riyad Bank.
Rodolphe Olard and Nick Sinden of HSBC and John Dewar and Sam Hoexter of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, advisers to Qatofin, explain the Qatofin/Q Chem 2 project.
The last 12 months have been a pivotal period for Egypt Basic Industries Corporation (EBIC) and the EBIC project culminating in the signing of the principal financing documents in September. By Philip Stopford, Justin Benson and Sebastian Buss, White & Case.
Australia Report 2006
Banking on infrastructure: Investing in infrastructure is all the vogue now, in no small part due to the success of Macquarie Bank and its satellite funds. Australian commercial banks are also jumping on the bandwagon, but managing those inherent conflicts within its core business of debt provision will be very tricky.
Macquarie Infrastructure Group, Macquarie Bank's flagship satellite fund, has announced a restructuring plan that will include a A$500m on-market share buy-back; paying three years of base fees in scrip; selling 50% of its assets to an unlisted Macquarie-managed vehicle called Macquarie Infrastructure Partners II; and a freeze on new acquisitions for 12 months. By Sharon Klyne.
Macquarie has been buying up assets across Europe and revolutionising the infrastructure sector, but can it keep it up in the face of ever more competition, asks Barry Marshall.
First, let's get the obvious question out of the way. Yes, Sydney's a hardship posting. Here you see me, Martin Locke and Mario D'Elia conferring over the finer points of a bond deal at the eponymous Bondi beach. By Tony Poulter, outgoing Sydney-based head global head of Project Finance at PwC.
Waste-to-resources company Global Renewables hopes to position itself as a global leader in the waste management technologies market with its patented mechanical biological treatment (MBT) technology. Cliff Lawrenson, chief executive officer of parent company GDR Ltd tells Project Finance International why he is passionate about the company's future. By Sharon Klyne.
A strategy that was a decade in the making is now helping Plenary Group to get its first deals done in Australia and make a big push for North America. Plenary Group has brought some well-known names on board and is heading for the capital markets in a partnership with Deutsche Bank. By Alison Healey.
Australian players continue to pursue opportunities beyond the country's borders and nearby Asia is providing attractive options. Minerva Lau reports.
In May 2006, the Brisbane City Council awarded the RiverCity Motorway consortium a 45 year concession for the Brisbane North South Bypass Tunnel (NSBT). By Shane Logan, director, project finance, National Australia Bank.
GCC Report 2006
Welcome to the first joint Project Finance International (PFI) and International Financing Review (IFR) GCC Report, a review of the GCC capital markets published by Thomson Financial, the parent company of PFI and IFR.
The corporate finance markets in the GCC are going through an unprecedented boom. International banks and investors are keen participants. Business and political concerns are near the surface, however. By Rod Morrison.
The GCC region was once the Cinderella of the global private equity market. Today, it is finding more friends and willing participants. By Nick Kochan.
Equity markets in the Middle East remain at an early stage of development, with rules and regulations often out of sync with international practice. But the speed of growth is astonishing. Owen Wild reports.
The Dubai International Financial Centre's recently established stock exchange has experienced its first takeover, the acquisition of Investcom by MTN Group. By Bruce Embley, partner, and Michael Horman, associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, lawyers to MTN.
Financial centres in the Gulf are competing to become the region's financial hub. Nick Kochan looks at the three main centres – Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar.
With Dubai International Capital snapping up yet another string of high-yielding assets, Barry Marshall investigates the routes GCC capital takes abroad, the gains to be made and the risks it carries.
The burgeoning sukuk market has seen the most pronounced innovation in the Islamic finance sector in recent years. By Rahail Ali, Global Head of Islamic Finance, and Imran Mufti, senior solicitor, Denton Wilde Sapte, legal advisers on the PCFC and Aabar sukuks.
East Cameron Partners, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company based in Houston, Texas, has recently issued an innovative sukuk bond. By Iad Georges Boustany, General Manager, BSEC.
The ever-expanding project finance pipeline in the GCC region offers opportunities, albeit with real challenges. The booming development projects and the looming liquidity are providing banks with a new asset base to diversify as well as optimise their credit portfolios. By Ghazali Inam, vice-president and senior corporate finance officer, Riyad Bank.
Jamal Al Rammah, director, project development, Saudi Arabian Oil Company and Kunio Nozaki, general manager, finance and accounting office, Sumitomo Chemical were jointly responsible for leading the financing of the Rabigh Refinery and Petrochemical Project. They explain the deal.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and ABN AMRO successfully closed the US$3.5bn Yanbu National Petrochemical Company financing in the summer. By Bruce Macfarlane, executive director and regional head loans and advisory, ABN AMRO, and Jalal Almarhoon, on secondment from Saudi Hollandi.
The signing of the US$1.8bn of financing facilities for the Saudi Ethylene & Polyethylene Company’s new petrochemical complex marked a major milestone. By Darren Davis, Director, Project & Export Finance, HSBC.
The Al Hidd transaction is the first Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP) under the Bahraini privatisation programme. By Phil Roberts, director, project finance power team, Royal Bank of Scotland.
In March, the US$180m Ajman Wastewater project reached financial close for the second time, with a 20-year wrapped bank loan. By Michael Dinham, managing director, and Stefan Ben, associate, ING.
Global Infrastructure Report 2006
Bridge is as good as gold: The Golden Ears Bridge Project is a milestone project for the Canadian PPP market.
Infrastructure Ontario has officially been in business since November 2005, but in that short time the agency has been assigned a total of 43 projects to put out to bid. By Alison Healey.
It has not yet been decided which bidders will move forward following submissions of letters of interest on a Baton Rouge hospital project, but the project is being held up as a model for future hospital development now being supported by the federal government, especially in the storm-ravaged South. By Alan Gersten and Alison Healey.
Latin America has continued to trail other emerging markets for FDI. Will PPP structures change the record? By Willem Sutherland, head of securitisation, Latin America, ABN AMRO.
The lack of adequate infrastructure capacity in Asia Pacific has hindered development and led to a consensus that private investment, including foreign investment, and reforms are required. Ajay Sagar of Asian Development Bank writes.
With the exception of a few key countries, the explosion in Asia-Pacific PPP projects has yet to fully materialise. By Bill Banks, Paul Clifford, Darrin Grimsey and Greg Procter, project finance advisory, Ernst & Young Australia.
The Indonesian government has issued a strong invitation to domestic and foreign investors to participate in its infrastructure sector. It has plans to modernise, improve and develop infrastructure projects in the country, and funding is badly needed. Minerva Lau writes.
Korea Development Bank advised on and arranged a W164bn project loan for the development of the Pyeongtaek container port, a greenfield 30,000 teu development. By Sharon Klyne.
The Spanish projects market might only trail the UK in terms of sophistication and deal flow within Europe, but signs are that the country has ambitious plans to crank up the competitive sector even further. By Antony Collins.
Barts was founded in 1123 and its new building PFI development stretched back some time too. But it did get done. By Kevin Murphy and Marc Hardy, Investec project and infrastructure finance.
The UK is the world's fourth largest economy by GDP, but lies only 13th in the competitiveness league table. By Martin Callaghan, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Financial close is near on the Gautrain project. The closure of the deal will be a landmark test case for PPPs in South Africa, where a new regulatory regime is being put to the test. By Barry Marshall.
North America Report 2006
Understanding contemporary US PPPs: It should be recognised that most of the PPP activity in the United States actually has revolved around the development of new transportation facilities.
California needs hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades over the next decade to support a growing population and a growing economy. By Nicole Gelinas.
Goldman Sachs came to market as both lead arranger and developer with the Horizon Wind Energy deal, which brought in almost every bank approached despite a merchant element to one project. By Alison Healey.
What has led to the critical importance of Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs, in US power purchase transactions? By Robert H Edwards Jr, partner, energy & project finance team, and David van Hoogstraten, counsel, resources, regulatory & environmental team, at Hunton & Williams LLP.
A new pipeline to run across the US is being financed and constructed at a time when the domestic market is seeing dramatic movements. By Barry Marshall.
A consolidation in the mining industry through Phelps Dodge Corp's proposed US$40bn plan to acquire Inco Ltd and Falconbridge would create more opportunities for project finance development around the world. By Alan Gersten.