Saudi Aramco, Dow petchem venture launches Islamic bond offering

DUBAI, March 17 Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:45am EDT

DUBAI, March 17 (Reuters) - Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical , said it launched a local currency Islamic bond to help fund the construction of a $20 billion petrochemical complex in the east of the kingdom.

The facility, located at Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, will be the world's largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase.

Size and pricing of the sukuk, which is only available to Saudi investors, will be determined once roadshows have taken place. The sukuk has a 16-year lifespan, the statement said.

The sukuk forms part of a $12.5 billion debt package currently being raised to fund the construction of the project, which will produce more than 3 million tonnes of petrochemicals each year when completed in 2016.

Of the total, $4.975 billion has been provided by the U.S. Export-Import Bank - its largest direct loan ever given by the agency to a single project.

Deutsche Bank, Riyad Bank, Alinma Bank and Bank Al Bilad have been mandated to arrange the sukuk, the statement said. Sources told Reuters in June the banks had been chosen, with the offering earmarked to raise around $1.4 billion-equivalent.

Once sold, it will be only the second project finance sukuk ever sold in Saudi Arabia - the first was the 3.75 billion riyals ($1 billion) issue in October 2011 from Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co (SATORP), a joint venture between Aramco and France's Total.

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