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Herbert Smith Freehills completes financing package for Yanbu 4 desalination project

The desalination plant is expected to provide 450,000 cubic metres of drinking water to Makkah and Madinah after its start of operations in November 2023

Herbert Smith Freehills’ projects team has revealed it has successfully advised the lenders involved in a multi-sourced project financing for the Yanbu 4 reverse osmosis seawater desalination project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The deal reached financial close on 19 March 2021, said the firm.

The desalination plant is expected to provide 450,000 cubic metres of drinking water to Makkah and Madinah once it reaches commercial operation by 1 November 2023.

Developed by sponsors ENGIE, Mowah and Nesma, the project also comprises a 39km pipeline with a transmission capacity of 600,000 cubic metres per day. This is the first water transmission line to be implemented under the Kingdom’s Public-Private Partnership framework, noted Herbert Smith Freehills in a statement.

“We are extremely pleased to support our long-standing client ENGIE on such a significant and ground-breaking project,” said head of Middle East projects and finance and deal co-lead, Anthony Ellis. “The achievement of financial close is testament to the vision and team of the sponsors and the lenders, notwithstanding the general uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

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