PF Archive

Al Taweelah A1: the big one

01 11 2000

The rapid swelling of Abu Dhabi's downstream industrial base and its ever growing consumer population demand that the emirate shores up its power generation and water desalination capacity ? fast. This is a familiar maxim throughout the Gulf States which, until recently, had scant experience with traditional project financing. Abu Dhabi, however, is learning quickly, as evidenced by its latest independent water and power project (IWPP), Tractebel/TotalfinaElf's Al Taweelah A1 ? only the second such project tendered to international developers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The deal, the largest of its kind in UAE at $1.3 billion, is backed by a $1 billion loan which was recently let loose on the market. Sub-underwriting and syndication are taking place concurrently. Despite a lengthy tenor (18.5 years), the loan has received strong interest. Co-leads are BNP Paribas and Citibank, which are currently courting a group of banks to join the arranging group. BNP Paribas' Francis Ballard explains, ?it was the quality of the sponsors that convinced the market that the deal warranted such a tenor. We...