DUBAI/KUWAIT Oct 16 Kuwait National Petroleum
Co (KNPC) expects to finalise a loan of well over $5 billion to
finance its Clean Fuels project by the end of the first quarter
of next year, sources involved in the project said.
The state-owned refiner had originally said it planned to
complete the fundraising, one of the world's largest-ever loans
backed by export credit agencies, this year.
KNPC's chief executive Mohammad Ghazi al-Mutairi, contacted
by Reuters, said talks were progressing on the loan, which could
close in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of
He also said NBK Capital was acting as exclusive financial
adviser for the facility, which would have backing from the
South Korean, Dutch, British and Italian export credit agencies.
HSBC is coordinating the transaction, banking sources said.
"It's one of the major loan deals to expect in the region - it's
going to be huge," said one source.
The Clean Fuels Project will upgrade and expand two of
Kuwait's largest existing refineries with a focus on producing
higher-value products such as diesel and kerosene for export.
KNPC obtained a first tranche of financing in April, a 1.2
billion dinar ($4.0 billion) loan led by National Bank of Kuwait
and Kuwait Finance House, which saw the participation of 11
banks, including Islamic lenders.
"There's an aggressive timeline on this - whether it will be
Q4 or Q1 2017 is uncertain still," said one banker.
(Additional reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Andrew
Torchia and Mark Potter)