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Aramco, Petronas Venture Seeks $9.7 Bn for Project Financing

Aramco, Petronas Venture Seeks $9.7 Bn for Project Financing

Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 - 08:45
The Saudi Aramco logo is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. (Reuters)
Dammam - Asharq Al-Awsat
Malaysia’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project is seeking commitments from banks for $9.7 billion for a 15-year loan, according to LPC, a fixed income news service.

RAPID is a venture between Petronas and Saudi Aramco and several banks have already responded to an initial request for proposals and are required to present revised proposals on pricing by the end of this week.

The new borrowing comprises three tranches: an export credit agency facility, an ECA-covered portion and an uncovered commercial piece of around $3.08 billion.

LPC said that the uncovered commercial tranche will carry different interest margins tied to completion of the project. The pre-completion period is expected to be two years, during which Petronas and Aramco will provide guarantees.

The all-in pricing is likely to be around 80 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate, LPC reported.

After the project is completed, guarantees fall away and the pricing will increase to around 150 basis point.

Refinery operations are set to begin in 2019, with petrochemical operations to follow six to 12 months later.

Petronas and Aramco own equal stakes in the half-built, $27 billion complex located between the Malacca Strait and the South China Sea. Aramco has agreed to supply at least 50 percent of the crude oil for the project.

Last year, Saudi Aramco signed a deal with Petronas to invest in RAPID, which is part of its long-standing strategy of investing in refining to help lock in demand for its crude.

The refinery, which has a capacity of 300,000 barrels of crude per day, will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, which meets the Euro 5 fuel specifications.

The PIC project, which is presently more than 80 percent completed, is on track for refinery start-up in the first quarter of next year.

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