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Clifford Chance advising Kuwait National Petroleum Company on its multi-billion Clean Fuels Project

21 March 2016

Clifford Chance advising Kuwait National Petroleum Company on its multi-billion Clean Fuels Project

International law firm Clifford Chance is advising Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) on its multi-billion Clean Fuels Project, the first time that KNPC has sought to access debt markets.

Financing of the first phase of the project is expected to close with local banks in early April 2016 where the mandated lead arrangers include National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Kuwait Finance House, on the conventional and Islamic finance tranches respectively. Future phases are expected to be open to international banks and export credit agencies.

The Clean Fuels Project (CFP) will upgrade and expand two of Kuwait's largest existing refineries at Mina Abdulla and Mina Al-Ahmadi. The CFP will transform the two refineries into an integrated merchant refining complex with a focus on producing higher-value products such as diesel and kerosene for export. Total refining capacity of this complex after completion will go up to 800,000 barrels a day.

Commenting on the deal, Clifford Chance Partner, Peter Avery said: "We are proud and delighted to be working with KNPC on the funding and construction aspects of its Clean Fuels Project, particularly given that this is the first time that KNPC has sought debt financing for one of its project developments."

The Clifford Chance team is being led by Peter Avery (Partner, Dubai) who was supported by Mark Valenzia (Senior Associate, Dubai), Yiting Xu (Senior Associate, previously Dubai now Singapore), and Lilly Alamir (Associate, Dubai). Construction aspects of the project are being led by Sandy Hall (Partner, Abu Dhabi) and Tim Steadman (Partner, London) with support from Paul Coates (Senior Associate, London).

The Clifford Chance Middle East team continues to advise on some of the Kuwait's most prominent projects including advising on the Az Zour North 2 IWPP, Umm Al Hayman wastewater project and Az Zour North 1 IWPP.