By Sarah Townsend
Debt financing deal represents coup for Kurdish firm operating in Iraqi Kurdistan
Qaiwan Group has secured $105 million of loan financing to activate a power plant in Bazian, Iraq – thought to be the biggest international bank loans provided to a Kurdish company operating in Iraqi Kurdistan in recent years.
The energy firm said this week it had secured an eight-year, $75 million loan through Deutsche Bank and Bankmed – a Dubai-based branch of Lebanese bank Bankmed SAL. The finance is being backed by the French government’s Export Credit Agency, Coface.
Qaiwan group also secured a five-year, $30 million commercial loan from GE (General Electric) Capital, it said in a statement to media.
Dubai-based CT&F Consulting DMCC acted as financial advisor to Qaiwan Group on the whole financing.
The two loans will refinance part of the company’s 442 megawatt (MW) Bazian Power Plant, capable of powering 500,000 homes in Iraqi Kurdistan, it claimed.
Qaiwan entered into a 15-year agreement with the Kurdistan regional government’s Ministry of Electricity in 2013 to finance, build, own, operate and maintain a power plant in the Sulaymaniyah area of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Under the deal, Qaiwan Group pledged to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Bazian, which is 25 kilometres away from Sulaymaniyah.
Construction began in the second half of 2014 and is nearing completion, but the financing deal enables the plant to become operational for the first time.
Saad Hasan, CEO of Qaiwan Group, said: “Completing these landmark agreements on competitive terms despite a challenging macroeconomic and social backdrop in the region is emblematic of the fact that the investment community is encouraged by what they see in Qaiwan Group – and in Kurdistan.
“This plant is a marquee infrastructure project that will go a long way in addressing the growing demand for power in a rapidly developing Kurdistan.”