Qatar utility inks $450m deal for desalination project

Qatar Electricity and Water Co says it has signed financing agreement with local banks

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Qatar Electricity and Water Co has signed a $450 million financing deal with local banks to fund the construction of a desalination plant which, when completed, will produce 10 percent of the Gulf country's water, the company said on Thursday.

The plant, situated at Ras Abu Fontas to the south of Doha, is scheduled to start operations in June 2015 and will produce 36 million imperial gallons of water per day, according to a statement from the firm.

Qatar National Bank funded $180 million, with three Islamic banks - Barwa Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar Islamic Bank - providing the remaining $270 million on an equal basis through a sharia-compliant facility.

It was the first time that a strategic project in Qatar had been fully funded without any participation from foreign lenders, Khalid Jolo, business development manager at QEWC, said in the statement.

HSBC was financial adviser to the project, while Norton Rose Fulbright and Simmons & Simmons acted as legal advisers to QEWC and the banks respectively.

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