Allens advises on year's largest project financing
5 October 2011
Allens Arthur Robinson (Allens) is advising the senior syndicate and mezzanine financiers on the financing of Queensland's first user-funded coal terminal, the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET). WICET is owned by a consortium of coal exporters advised by ANZ Corporate Advisory.
The first stage of the development, located in Gladstone and due for completion in 2014, is expected to facilitate the export of about 27 million tonnes of coal per annum. When all stages are fully commissioned, the terminal will have a capacity of more than 80 million tonnes per annum, effectively doubling the coal export capacity at the Port of Gladstone. The terminal will be operated by the Queensland Government-owned Gladstone Ports Corporation.
The financing for WICET Stage 1 is Australia's largest greenfields project financing for 2011. The deal, which was signed on 9 September, and which reached financial close on 30 September, includes US$2.4 billion for construction and $600 million (made up of Australian and US dollars) for performance guarantees, working capital and contingencies.
The Gladstone Long Term Securities (GiLTS) financing package is comprised of A$450 million and US$50 million. In an Australian first, the senior debt facilities also include a tranche of debt guaranteed by the Australian Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia is acting as the senior agent for a syndicate of 20 domestic and international banks, who are providing senior debt on the deal, and as the mezzanine agent for a consortium of 13 mezzanine financiers, who have subscribed for GiLTS.
Equity was provided in the form of preference shares, for which the coal exporters, who will own and develop the terminal, subscribed at financial close.
Partner Phillip Cornwell, who led the Allens team acting for the senior financiers, said the huge and complex deal required a large, well-coordinated team, including the firm's due diligence specialists.
'Major projects of this sort require an enormous team effort,' Mr Cornwell said.
'We were able to build on our experience with other export infrastructure financings, notably NCIG's Newcastle Coal Export terminal.
'We are delighted to have helped WICET achieve such a successful result on this significant project.'
|Allens legal team||Phillip Cornwell (Partner – Sydney), Rob Watt (Partner – Sydney), Nicholas Adkins (Partner – Sydney), Carmen Luk (Senior Associate – Sydney), Mary-Frances Murphy (Lawyer – Sydney), Kevin Lu (Lawyer – Sydney), Scott Day (Lawyer – Sydney), Amy Cashman (Lawyer – Sydney), Sarah Petrie (Lawyer – Brisbane) and numerous other specialists who worked on due diligence review|
- Susan CowenCorporate Affairs Adviser,
Ph: +61 3 9613 8374
Notes for editors.
Allens Arthur Robinson has staff in 14 cities and eight countries across the Asia Pacific.