Egypt's Al Nouran sugar project secures Islamic financing

April 28 Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:49am EDT

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April 28 (Reuters) - Egypt's Al Nouran sugar production facility, a 2.5 billion Egyptian pound ($357 million) project, could begin operations in 2016 after securing a sharia-compliant financing package, the project sponsors said on Monday.

Al Nouran is expected to refine more than 500,000 tonnes of sugar annually, potentially reducing the country's reliance on imported sugar by up to 25 percent, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) said.

The ICD, the private sector arm of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, said it had extended a financing package including equity investment, mezzanine financing and standby guarantees of up to $46 million.

"The facility is expected to conclude construction and begin its operations in 2016," the statement said.

Shareholders in the project include Al Nouran Multitrading, the ICD, the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the Egyptian Sugar & Integrated Industries Co.

Al Nouran Multitrading, a private sugar trading house, said in a separate statement that a senior financing facility had been arranged by a consortium of 13 banks including Banque Misr, Bank Audi and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

The arranging banks would provide up to 900 million Egyptian pounds in the senior facility, and secure an additional amount to take the total to 1.5 billion pounds, of which 16 percent would be denominated in U.S. dollars, Al Nouran said.

The project is expected to generate up to 3,000 new jobs and employ over 55,000 workers, directly and indirectly, upon the start of commercial operations, the trading house said. ($1 = 6.9953 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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