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Clifford Chance advises the lenders on the US$250 million facility to Adjaristsqali Georgia

2 April 2015

Clifford Chance advises the lenders on the US$250 million facility to Adjaristsqali Georgia

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has advised the lenders on the US$250 million facility to Adjaristsqali Georgia in connection with the financing of the 187MW Shuakhevi hydropower scheme, consisting of the Shuakhevi and Skhalta hydropower plants located in the Adjara region, in southwest Georgia. The project represents the largest private hydropower investment in Georgia. It reached financial close on 23 March 2015.

The lender group comprises Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Finance Corporation, which respectively provided US$90 million, US$90 million and US$70 million loan facility. IFC was a lead arranger for the financing and is also an equity investor in the project company. Total project costs are estimated to be US$417 million with three tunnels of 34 km.

The sponsors of the project are India's Tata Power (40%), Norway's Clean Energy Invest (40%), and IFC (20%). Works began in 2013 with a target to start producing electricity in 2016. An Alstom-led consortium holds an electro-mechanical works contract and AGE holds the civil works contract.

The project will export power to Turkey through the 400kV cross-border Akhalskhe-Borcka transmission line nine months of the year, and sell domestically for three consecutive winter months.

The Clifford Chance project finance team was led by partner Nicholas Wong and senior associate Milica Zatezalo-Falatar, assisted by Nicolas Cookson and Francis Chukwu. Partner Tim Steadman provided construction related legal advice. Turkish legal advice to the lenders was provided by Gözde Cankaya. Dutch legal advice to the lenders was provided by Nanette Rutgers and Ellen Römkens.