Financing of Kuwait National Petroleum Company Clean Fuels Project

ASAR – Al Ruwayeh & Partners (ASAR), Kuwait’s leading and most prominent corporate law firm, and one of the region’s top tier firms, has acted as legal counsel of the mandated lead arrangers (i.e., National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House) and local and regional financial institutions in respect of the conventional and Islamic financing of the Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s (KNPC) clean fuels project. The project includes the upgrade and integration of the two largest existing refineries in the country, i.e., Mina Abdulla and Mina Al Ahmadi refineries. The project will increase the combined capacity of the refineries from the existing 736,000 barrels per day to 800,000 barrels per day, and will lower the sulphur content of petroleum products to 5%.

The overall cost of the project is KWD 3.4 billion (US$11.35 billion), and is part of the Kuwait’s KWD 30 billion (US$100 billion) economic development plan.
The importance of this first tranche of the financing comes from the fact that it is the first financing to be obtained by KNPC and it is the largest KWD financing transaction in the history of Kuwait and amounts to KWD 1,2 Billion (around US$ 4 Billion).

Rob Little, Counsel at ASAR said: “Our involvement in a transaction of this magnitude is a testament to the solid development of Kuwait based companies. This latest deal highlights ASAR’s capabilities in servicing Kuwait’s top tier companies and financial institutions in the Kuwaiti market.”

Ibrahim Sattout, Partner at ASAR and leading ASAR team said: “We have been honoured to work with and represent the lenders in this high profile transaction and we appreciate the confidence and trust that the lenders have put in our firm. We look forward to continuing to assist our clients in reaching their business and strategic objectives.”

John Cunha, Partner at ASAR said: “Despite challenging economic times, this transaction underlines the interest of the economic players in the oil sector and its development. This deal affirms ASAR’s trusted involvement with prominent organizations in numerous landmark projects that are part of the country’s development plan.”