London: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation has won Project Finance International’s prestigious global “Multilateral Deal of the Year” award for its ground-breaking project financing.
Management from EGA and GAC received the recognition at PFI’s annual awards ceremony in London.
GAC’s $750 million deal, signed in May 2019, was the largest-ever project financing for a greenfield mining project in the Republic of Guinea and was extended by development finance institutions, export credit agencies and international commercial banks.
The loan was the first in which multilateral institutions and international commercial banks participated together in a project financing for a greenfield mining project in Guinea.
GAC secured the project financing after extensive due diligence on the company’s technical, commercial, environmental and social commitments and performance, and a public consultation process.
The company’s success in securing the loan set a new benchmark for project financing in Guinea, potentially improving country’s access to international capital and boosting the national economy.
GAC has now completed the development of its bauxite mine and associated export facilities in Guinea, in the largest greenfield investment in Guinea in some 40 years. GAC began exporting bauxite in August last year and reached one million tonnes exported by January.
EGA’s Chief Executive Officer Abdulnasser Bin Kalban said: “More than 800 of the world’s most senior project finance professionals honoured GAC at this year’s PFI Awards because this project financing was a landmark in the African mining industry. Securing this project financing was possible because of the technical and commercial robustness of the GAC project, as well as GAC’s focus on social and environmental responsibility.”
Participants in the project financing included International Finance Corporation, The African Development Bank, Export Development Canada, PIDG Ltd’s company The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, Societe Generale, ING Bank, Natixis, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank.
Societe Generale acted as Financial Adviser to GAC and ING led the technical due diligence on the project on behalf of the commercial banks.
The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) extended political risk insurance cover to commercial banks participating in the loan.
Shearman & Sterling, S.D. Avocats, Akin & Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Walkers acted as legal counsel for GAC. Allen & Overy, Bao & Fils and Maples & Calder acted as legal counsel for the lenders. DLA Piper and Sylla & Partners acted as legal counsel for the Government of Guinea.
EGA developed the GAC project as part of its strategic expansion upstream in the aluminium value chain, to create new revenue streams and to secure at competitive prices raw materials needed by the UAE aluminium industry.
GAC produces bauxite, the ore from which aluminium is derived. EGA has also built an alumina refinery at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi, which refines bauxite into alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters.
Project Finance International (PFI) is a source of global energy and infrastructure finance news, data and tools. It is published by Thomson Reuters in print every two weeks and updated online daily. The PFI Awards is the industry’s most prestigious annual awards – the winners are announced in December, and celebrated at a dinner attended by 600+ project finance professionals every February.