Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Mizuho Bank, Ltd, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited, BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV and Standard Chartered Bank on the financing for the approximately US$941 million financing of the Fujairah F3 Independent Power Producer (IPP) project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Fujairah F3 IPP project is a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant located in Qidfa, Fujairah and will be the largest independent thermal power plant in the UAE. Once operational, the power plant will have a contracted power capacity of 2.4GW, equivalent to the powering of 380,000 UAE households, and is in line with UAE Energy Strategy 2050, promoting construction of highly-efficient, highly-flexible energy plants to meet energy demand and support sustainable growth for the UAE economy. The electricity produced by the plant will be sold to EWEC (Emirates Water and Electricity Company) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi) for 25 years. It will provide secure and reliable power to the equivalent of 380,000 households.
In 2019, the Fujairah F3 IPP project attracted more than 30 expressions of interests from potential bidders. Marubeni Corporation successfully won the bid. Marubeni, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and MDC Power Holding Company will own equity interest in the project company that will develop, finance, build, operate, maintain and own the Fujairah F3 IPP.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team included Tokyo partner Julien Bocobza, London partner Chris Down and Dubai partner Robin Balmer. Singapore partner Colin Rice assisted with respect to the hedging aspects of the financing. Dubai associate Vany Attarian, London senior associate Alexandra Jeffries and associate Remi Ahmed, Singapore associate Francesca North and Tokyo associate Tetsutaro Kubo also assisted the team.
During the bid phase of the project, Tokyo partners Julien Bocobza and George Gibson led a client-dedicated team for JBIC that included London based partner Andrew Hart, counsel Rosa Mottershead and senior associate Jessica Melville to advise on the bid submitted by Marubeni Corporation.
Julien Bocobza commented:
“We are delighted to have been involved in another Abu Dhabi IPP to achieve financial close. Despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the relatively swift timespan in which this important milestone was reached indicates the appetite on all sides for this landmark project to get underway and a keen interest to be involved with a key project, providing secure and reliable power in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We are also pleased to have assisted JBIC on this transaction that contributes to Japanese industry maintaining and enhancing its international competitiveness. We look forward to continuing to play a significant role in the wave of new infrastructure and energy projects coming to market in the region.”
Norton Rose Fulbright has advised on a string of cross-border projects in the UAE. In Abu Dhabi, the firm previously advised Marubeni Corporation and JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. on the US$900 million financing for the Sweihan IPP and the lenders to ACWA Power on the financing for the Taweelah RO IWP. In 2019, the firm also advised JBIC on its provision of a US$482 million loan facility to Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority for the purposes of purchasing a set of power generation equipment.