A&O advised the lenders and export credit agencies on a greenfield project financing for the construction of an olefin complex in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium.
The €3.5bn financing is provided by 21 commercial banks and the export credit agencies of the UK, Spain and Italy, alongside a loan guarantee of up to €500mn from Gigarant, part of the Flemish government. When fully operational, the ethane cracker built as part of the complex is expected to produce approximately 1450kt of ethylene. It will use the most advanced technologies available in the olefins sector that result in the lowest carbon footprint out of all the ethane crackers currently existing in Europe.
It is expected to be the largest, most innovative investment made in the European chemical sector in the last couple of decades designed to enable INEOS to produce ethylene with a much lower carbon footprint compared to its competitors, invest in carbon capture and hydrogen fuel infrastructure, and, reach carbon neutrality within a few years of plant start-up.
Partner Lorraine Bayliss commented: We are delighted to have helped Project One to a successful financial close. Project One has a key role in energy transition by allowing the needs of the European market to continue to be met with a lower carbon footprint than existing alternatives and also having been designed with a view to being able to implement other sustainable options as they become commercially available.”
The A&O deal team was led by London partner Lorraine Bayliss and Belgian partner Filip Tanghe. Other members of the team were UAE partner Ian Ingram-Johnson, Graham Knight (Senior Associate), Urvi Gudka (Associate), Mark Masson (Associate), Sheza Tariq (Associate), Peter Rowley (Associate) and Margot DeWolf (Associate). Troy Edwards, Eleanor Milne and Andy Cartwright assisted on the Project Documents. Matthew Townsend, Tom d’Ardenne and Gabrielle Minards advised on Environmental matters. The core team was also assisted by Henri Wagner, Francois Guillaume De Liedekerke and Charlotte Riachi (A&O Luxembourg); Jimena Urretavizcaya, Salvador Ruiz Bachs, Marina Jimenez, Juan Carus Gomez and Ana Garcia (A&O Spain); and Pietro Scarfone and Nunzio Bicchieri (A&O Italy).
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