DUBAI Jan 29 Saudi Arabian Mining Company
(Maaden) aims to complete the financing for a $7
billion phosphate project by the end of the year, a senior
executive at the firm said on Tuesday.
The cash will be used to fund the Umm Wual development at
Waad Al-Shimal City in the north of the country, as well as
connected infrastructure at Ras Al Khair on the eastern coast of
the kingdom, Khalid Al-Rowais, vice president of finance at
Maaden, told a conference in Dubai.
While the amount of money to be raised from the market has
yet to be finalised, Rowais said government funds, banks - both
local and international - as well as export credit agencies
(ECAs) would be involved. Issuing an Islamic bond was also a
"A sukuk is an option but the most important thing is to
have the right balance to suit the project," Rowais said, adding
talks were ongoing with its financial adviser on funding plans.
HSBC was financial adviser, with Baker & McKenzie
its legal adviser, Rowais added on the sidelines of the event.
Two government funds, the Public Investment Fund and the
Saudi Industrial Development Fund, as well as ECAs, would be
approached in April about funding the project, Rowais said, with
invitations to commercial banks expected in July.
The scheme will have a production capacity of 16 million
tonnes per year of phosphate concentrate, sulphuric acid,
phosphoric acid, as well as plants to produce calcium
monophosphate and calcium diphosphate, Maaden said previously,
with phosphate production expected to start in late 2016.
In December, Maaden signed deals worth 977 million riyals
($260.5 million) with U.S. firms Fluor Corp and Bechtel
to help develop Waad Al-Shimal City.
Earlier this week, Maaden warned a diammonium phosphate
(DAP) fertiliser plant in Ras Al Khair, controlled by a
subsidiary, would shut for three weeks, although this would have
no impact on its ability to meet its customer obligations.
This news came days after Maaden posted a forecast-beating
45 percent increase in its fourth-quarter net profit after it
began production of ammonia and DAP.
($1 = 3.7502 Saudi riyals)
(Reporting by David French; editing by James Jukwey)