Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) has closed the Republic of Guinea’s largest-ever project financing for a greenfield mining project.
The $750 million loan has a tenor of 12 to 14 years and was extended by development finance institutions, export credit agencies and international commercial banks.
The loan represents the first time multilateral institutions and international commercial banks have participated together in a project financing for a greenfield mining project in Guinea, a statement said.
The financing supports the development of EGA’s $1.4 billion bauxite mining project as well as related transport infrastructure, including an upgrade to an existing multi-user rail system and the development of a port.
The mine has some of the world’s best quality resources of bauxite – the primary input in the production of alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters.
A later phase of the project envisages the construction of an alumina refinery.
Abdulla Kalban, managing director and CEO of EGA and chairman of GAC, said: “The partnership we have formed with GAC’s lenders secures the long-term success of our Guinea project and for EGA this project financing is in line with our capital allocation strategy. We are committed to completing and then operating the GAC project to high standards, contributing to improving sustainability performance in Guinea whilst helping to grow the economy.”
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has committed total financing of $330 million including syndicated debt from commercial banks. The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Export Development Canada (EDC) have committed $100 million and $150 million respectively.
The remaining funds have been extended by two European development finance institutions including PIDG’s company The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund Limited, and commercial banks including Societe Generale, ING Bank, Natixis, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank.
Production from the GAC project is expected to begin during the second half of 2019 and is expected to be 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year once steady state operations are achieved. The construction of the GAC project is more than 90 per cent complete.
Over 4,600 people were employed in the construction of the GAC project at peak, more than 85 percent Guineans. During the operations phase, the project is expected to directly employ some 1,000 people.
EGA recently started production at the UAE’s first alumina refinery, near its Al Taweelah aluminium smelter.
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