Alba seals credit for Line 5 project

Alba secures $450 million export credit finance package with HSBC and BNP Paribas

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By  Rhys Jones Published  April 3, 2004

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has sealed a US $450 million export credit finance package with HSBC and BNP Paribas for the construction of Alba’s Line 5 power station expansion project. The financial package has been guaranteed by Switzerland and France, two countries that export to Alba. “From the total amount, $300 million will be dedicated towards the construction of the project’s new power station and the remaining $150 million will be used to fund other projects including the new Casthouse 3 development,” said Bruce Hall, CEO, Alba. Oil Minister and Alba chairman Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa last week signed the two financing agreements with HSBC and BNP Paribas at a ceremony held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Bahrain. Present at the event were Bahrain Monetary Agency governor Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Finance and National Economy undersecretary Sheikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the French Ambassador and Swiss Counsel, Alba directors, Alba’s executive management team, representatives from government and shareholders as well as the financial advisors. During the ceremony, Sheikh Isa welcomed the attendees and expressed his appreciation to HSBC and BNP Paribas for their support in financing Alba’s projects, which will help the company maintain its leading position in the global aluminium industry. “We are heartened by the support of HSBC and BNP Paribas in assisting Alba’s strategic expansion. On behalf of the Government of Bahrain, Sabic, Breton Investments and the entire management team of Alba, we would like to thank the banks for being our partners in the implementation of this landmark project,” said Sheikh Isa. “We would also like to thank the Ministry of Finance and National Economy and our financial and legal advisors for the role they have played,” he added. The Line 5 Project has been designed to bring about recognition of Bahrain on an international level and help open up new gateways to foreign investment in a move to contribute towards the development of the country economically. “The development of Alba over the past 30 years has given rise to a significant downstream industry that provides substantial employment and economic benefit for the economy of Bahrain across a broad base,” said Hall. “Alba currently contributes $200 million per annum to the national economy which is in the range of 7% to 8% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he explained. Alba’s Line 5 Expansion, due for completion in June next year, will expand Alba’s annual production by a further 307 000 tonnes/annum, making it the largest smelter in the world outside of eastern Europe. At a total cost of $1.7 billion, the expansion will include a power station, carbon and casthouse.

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