Australia Pacific LNG Said to Sign $2.5 Billion 16-Year Loan With 9 Banks
Saturday, 25 February 2012 | 00:00
Australia Pacific LNG Pty, the venture building a liquefied natural gas project in state of Queensland, completed a $2.5 billion, 16-year project finance loan with nine banks, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Proceeds will be used for the project and the loan pays a margin of between 200 to 300 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, increasing to more than 300 basis points once the field is in the post-construction phase, the person said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
Australia has eight LNG ventures under development, driven by increasing Asian demand for less-polluting alternatives to coal. Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Santos Ltd., ConocoPhillips (COP), BG Group Plc and Inpex Corp. are building projects to supply countries including China.
Australia Pacific LNG’s $20 billion coal seam gas-to-LNG venture in the country’s north involves developing fields in the Surat and Bowen basins in central Queensland, constructing a 520 kilometer (325 mile) gas transmission pipeline and building a LNG facility on Curtis Island, according to its website.
The company is owned 37.5 percent by Origin Energy Ltd. (ORG), 37.5 percent by ConocoPhillips and 25 percent by China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec, as the group is more commonly known.
Anneliis Allen, corporate communications manager at Origin Energy, the contact for the financing, declined to comment when reached at her office in Sydney today.
Project finance and infrastructure debt in Australia will swell syndicated loan volumes in 2012 as firms seek more than $90 billion of funding for energy projects, Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a Feb. 16 report.
Loan volumes in Australia and New Zealand surged 57 percent to $132.9 billion in 2011 from the previous year as firms sought early refinancing amid Europe’s debt crisis and as borrowers such as Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty arranged funding for resource infrastructure projects, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Some of the lenders to Australia Pacific LNG’s facility may syndicate the debt further to other banks, the person said today, declining to elaborate.