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Allen & Overy Advises On USD916m Lao-Thailand Hydropower Project.

15 September, 2014

 

Allen & Overy has advised Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company Limited and its sponsors, The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., EGAT International Company Limited and Lao Holding State Enterprise, on all aspects of the development, financing and construction of the project in connection with the USD 916m 290MW Nam Ngiep 1 cross-border hydropower project located in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

 

The project, which achieved financial close on 11 September 2014, is a joint venture between the Lao and Thai governments and a private-sector sponsor. Construction of the plant is to begin in 2014 and will take approximately five years to complete. The project is scheduled to start commercial operations in January 2019.

 

Allen & Overy partner Stephen Jaggs led the team from Bangkok. He commented:

 

“There were a large number of “firsts” for this project on both the financing and legal sides with the longest ever tenor of 22.5 years for a Lao cross-border power project and any commercial financing in Laos; and the longest ever tenor for any Thai Baht loan provided by Asian Development Bank. As such, closing the financing of this project was a major achievement for all of the sponsors and we were very excited to be able to support the project company and all three sponsors from the initial development phases through to financial close. We were working with Kansai on their first major investment in the Lao hydropower sector and with EGATi and LHSE on this important project for both Thailand and the Lao PDR. 

 

The structure of this deal required the successful resolution of access issues to existing infrastructure facilities to allow power to be delivered to Thailand and this was the first time that a project has agreed arrangements to connect to a substation owned by another project in Laos (made even more challenging as this was an already operational project). This project is another example of Allen & Overy’s ability to advise on the most complex transactions in the South-East Asian and project financing market.”

 

Other law firms advising on the project include DFDL (in Laos) as the sponsors’ Lao counsel; Clifford Chance as the lenders’ deal counsel; and McDonald Steed McGrath Lawyers (in Laos) as the lenders’ Lao counsel. BNP Paribas acted as sole and exclusive financial advisor to the project sponsors throughout the project’s development and financing phases.

 

Conventus Law

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