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WFW advises ICBC on US$200m financing to EXMAR group of world’s first floating liquefaction and storage unit for natural gas

29 June 2015

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is pleased to announce that it acted as lead counsel to advise The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (“ICBC”) on financing the EXMAR group in respect of its construction and acquisition of the world’s first floating liquefaction and storage unit for natural gas (“FLNG”) presently being built by China shipbuilders Wison (Nantong) Heavy Industry Co., Ltd and Wison Offshore & Marine Ltd.

ICBC will provide financing of up to US$198,423,708.80 to the EXMAR group for the FLNG project. This flagship project is reported to involve the highest level of technology in the LNG sector and constitutes China’s biggest exporting project to Belgium in terms of contract value to date.

The EXMAR group’s CEO Mr Nicolas Saverys and ICBC’s Board Chairman Mr Jiang Jianqing signed the finance agreement on 23 June 2015, with King Philippe of Belgium and China’s President Xi Jinping presiding over the signing ceremony.

The FLNG, which represents a new generation of offshore units, is the world’s first FLNG and it will have the ability to effect natural gas processing, liquefaction and storage. The unit is intended to be employed by Pacific Stratus Energy Colombia Corp. for use under the gas project of Pacific Rubiales Energy.

The team was led by WFW Hong Kong office head and partner Madeline Leong and supported by partner Christoforos Bisbikos, senior associate Heike Trischmann and associate Ryan Tan.

WFW Hong Kong partner Madeline Leong said “This financing demonstrates ICBC’s support of the Chinese shipbuilding industry’s advancement and development in the sophisticated area of LNG and its interest in funding energy needs around the globe.”