December 12, 2013
Latham & Watkins has advised the Project Sponsors, GDF Suez International Power, Sumitomo Corporation and Al Sagar, in connection with the US$1.4 billion financing of the Az-Zour North 1 power and water project, the first independent power and water project (IWPP) under Kuwait’s new PPP laws.
Based in Az-Zour, 100km south of Kuwait City, the development will produce 1500-MW of power and approximately 107 million gallons of water per day for the country's Ministry of Electricity & Water under a 40 year build, operate, own and transfer contract. The project includes US$1.4 billion of financing provided by a combination of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), commercial lenders (Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and the National Bank of Kuwait) and commercial lenders under a NEXI (Nippon Export Investment and Insurance) covered facility.
Partner Craig Nethercott, who co-led the Latham & Watkins team, commented: “The Az Zour North Project is the first project under the new PPP Law in Kuwait and a significant achievement for leading developers GDF Suez, Sumitomo Corporation and Al Sagar Brothers. The project, with the dedication of all stakeholders, has successfully set out the path for projects of this kind in Kuwait and should open the doors for significant private sector involvement in infrastructure in Kuwait.”
The Latham & Watkins team was led by partners Craig Nethercott and Villiers Terblanche with assistance from associates Ed Hills and Marc Makary in Abu Dhabi, Chirag Sanghrajka in Dubai, and Tariq Fedda and Lucy Wilson in London. London partner Vlad Maly and associate Polly Ehrman advised on hedging arrangements.