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Trowers & Hamlins acts as Oman local counsel in US$2.8 billion loan for ORPIC

Trowers & Hamlins acts as Oman local counsel in US$2.8 billion loan for ORPIC

Trowers & Hamlins were appointed as local counsel to advise a consortium of 21 international and local financial institutions on all legal aspects of the financing of a US$2.8 billion loan arranged for Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (ORPIC), primarily in relation to its refinery improvement project.

The loan will be applied towards certain large-scale projects of ORPIC over the coming years, including the US$2.1 billion Sohar Refinery Improvement Project (SRIP) designed to enhance the current production capacity of the refinery by more than 70%. The project will involve engineering, procurement, construction, start-up and commissioning services and will be 65% debt financed.

Trowers & Hamlins advised on the Oman law aspects of the finance documents, including the common terms agreement, facilities agreements and the security trust and intercreditor deed. The firm also negotiated the Oman law security documents involved in the project, such as the commercial and legal mortgages, the account pledge and assignment of insurances.

The firm assisted in the preparation of the legal due diligence report which involved complex local regulatory issues and a close analysis of ORPIC's contractual arrangements, including a crude oil supply agreement with the Ministry of Oil and Gas in Oman.

SRIP represents a significant technical improvement, enhancing its capabilities to cope with the change in the quality of the Oman Export Blend (OEB) and reach international levels with regard to environmental improvements, competitiveness and profitability - hence the attractiveness of the project to investors.

Banking and Finance partner Roger Clarke, senior associate Riza Ismail and trainee solicitor Sam Cobley advised on the matter.