Hogan Lovells has advised JGC Corporation, United Infrastructure Development Company (part of Bahwan Engineering Group) and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, the successful bidder, on the Sharqiyah Independent Water Project ("IWP") in the Sultanate of Oman. Financial close was achieved on the 5thof November, 2018.
The Sharqiyah IWP is a reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant that will sell approximately 80,000m3of desalinated water per day for 20 years to the Oman Power and Water Procurement Co. SAOC ("OPWP") – the single buyer of power and water for all independent power and water projects within Oman.
This is the first project of its kind in the Middle East, as the desalination plant will be developed in conjunction with a dedicated solar photovoltaic facility, which will contribute power to the desalination process.
The Sponsors commented:"The selection of this consortium as the successful bidder is the result of positive evaluation by OPWP of the ability of this group to apply unique engineering knowledge to provide innovative ideas that enable the reduction of energy required to operate and to keep the unit cost of the water low."
MUFG Bank, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited and Shinsei Bank, Limited financed the 20 billion Yen (approximatelyUS$175,000,000) project.Nippon Export and Investment Insurance ("NEXI") provided the loan insurance – the first time they have provided insurance for a seawater desalination plant project in Oman, aligning themselves with the Japanese government's policy to strengthen its support for developing the water and renewable energy business overseas.
The Hogan Lovells team was led by Dubai-based projects partner Sohail Barkatali, with support from Rahail Ali (Partner, Dubai) and Tony Nicholson (Associate, Dubai), as well as lawyers from Hogan Lovells offices in Singapore, Australia and London.
Commenting on the project, Sohail Barkatali, said: "We are excited to be part of the first project in the region combining the desalination process with renewable energy and setting a model for similar projects in the future. We expect that this will be the first of many of its kind in the Middle East given environmental and economic benefits.”
Rahail Ali said: "Oman is a key jurisdiction for Hogan Lovells. We have advised on numerous water and power projects in the Sultanate, including two IWPs in the last two years, which reached financial close. Our projects and energy team are dedicated to providing our clients with first-rate legal advice, not only in Oman, but across the wider Middle East region."