DUBAI (Reuters) - Oman’s Sohar Aluminium will meet banks this week in London to discuss potential financing options, four sources familiar with the matter said.
Jointly owned by Rio Tinto, Oman Oil Company and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), Sohar Aluminium was formed in 2004 to build an aluminium smelter in Oman which now has an annual production capacity of 375,000 tonnes.
The project was partly financed through a syndicated loan of around $1.5 billion in 2006 which matures in 2021.
That facility was arranged by ABN Amro and Citi as bookrunners, and saw the participation of a large group of Omani, regional and international banks, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Sohar Aluminium, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, is now looking at options that might include a refinancing of part of that deal, said two of the sources.
It is considering both loans and bond issues, one of the sources said.
A potential deal would add to a thin pipeline of expected debt transactions in the Gulf, as a recent surge in oil prices has led to higher liquidity in the banking system but, at the same time, to a slow down in credit demand.
In Oman, another expected deal is by state-owned Electricity Holding Co., which is seeking debt financing for a $1.2 billon capital expenditure programme, sources told Reuters in May.
Editing by Jason Neely
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