Intl consortium approves $341 mln finance to upgrade Egypt energy infrastructure

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Feb 2016

The loan will primarily finance new infrastructure in Ain Sokhna Port for the import and storage of liquified petroleum and natural gas

Egypt's Ain Sokhna Port (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A consortium of international financiers has approved to lend Sonker, an Egyptian private bunkering company, $341 million in an attempt to upgrade the country’s oil and gas infrastructure.

The financing package includes a $72 million senior loan and $22 million mezzanine loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the bank, as part of the consortium, said in emailed statement Thursday.

Sonker, which is jointly owned by Amiral Holding Group, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance and the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, aims to construct and operate a bulk-liquids terminal at Ain Sokhna Port on the Red Sea for import and storage of gasoil, liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and liquified natural gas (LNG).

The company’s new infrastructure will help accommodate the docking of two floating storage and regasification units, EBRD said.

EBRD breaks down the remaining finance in the statement, saying that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is also providing a $70 million senior loan along with a $22 million mezzanine loan, and mobilising $52.5 million from other investors.

The Commercial International Bank (CIB), Egypt’s largest private-sector bank, is availing $28 million and the equivalent of $44 million in a local currency loan, as well as a $30 million credit support instrument facility, EBRD added.

“The Sonker Project will ensure a constant supply of energy to our burgeoning economy and will certainly transform the Red Sea area into a regional hub for trading petroleum products, not only for the Egyptian market, but also for East Africa and Europe,” the EBRD cited Ossama Al-Sharif, Sonker's managing director, as saying.

Egypt was delivered two floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) — provided by Norway's Hoegh LNG in April, and the Singapore-based Norwegian group BW Gas in September — so as to be able to import LNG and convert it to natural gas to feed into its energy-starved power grid.

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