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Covington Project Finance Deals Among Deals of the Year at 2018 PFI Awards

December 21, 2018

LONDON—Covington’s Project Development and Finance practice has been recognized at the PFI Awards 2018 for the team’s work on the Al Ezzel and Sakaka transactions, which won “Middle East and Africa Refinancing Deal of the Year” and “Middle East and Africa Power Deal of the Year” respectively.

The $243 million new financing facility for Al Ezzel Power Company, a key electricity supplier in Bahrain, replaces an earlier agreement reached in 2004. The new financing was provided by Bank ABC, National Bank of Kuwait, Mashreq Bank, National Bank of Bahrain and Ahli United Bank. The Al Ezzel plant uses gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine technology to provide a generating capacity of 950 MW, and as of the end of 2017 provided power representing approximately 24% of Bahrain’s non-captive power capacity. The project was initially developed by Engie and Gulf Investment Corporation. The Social Insurance Organization of Bahrain joined soon thereafter. The Covington team, led by of counsel Julie Scotto, acted as borrower’s counsel.

With an investment of $302 million (SAR 1.2 billion), the 300 MW Sakaka IPP photovoltaic solar project is the first ever utility scale renewable energy project under the National Renewable Energy Program of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which aims to produce 9.5GW of renewable energy by 2023. The plant will harness solar energy by utilizing photovoltaic technology to generate electricity, which it is estimated will generate enough clean energy to provide power to 75,000 households in the Al Jouf region, while offsetting over 430,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. The plant will cover an area of six square kilometers and is expected to commence its commercial operations next year, with a scheduled commercial operation date of Q4 2020.

The Covington team, led by partner Agnieszka Klich, with assistance from associates Sharon Wing and Florence Cock, acted as borrower’s counsel.

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