Templars has advised the lenders on a US$260 million dual currency senior secured project financing for ANOH Gas Processing Company Limited (AGPC). AGPC is a 50:50 joint venture company of Seplat Petroleum Development Company plc, a leading Nigerian independent energy company listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange, and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The financing, which includes an additional $60mn accordion piece, is for the development of the 300 million standard cubic feet per day gas processing plant in southeastern Nigeria. The plant will be dedicated to the processing of non-associated gas from the unitized area of Oil Mining Leases 21 and 53.

The US$650 million project is to be part-funded by over US$400 million of equity from Seplat and NGC and the US$260m of debt financing, which came from seven Nigerian and regional banks comprising United Bank for Africa, Zenith Bank, RMB International (Mauritius)/ Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, Mauritius Commercial Bank and First City Monument Bank.

The very strategically important ANOH gas infrastructure development project is one of seven critical gas development projects (7CGDPs) earmarked by the NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum to bridge the demand-supply gap in the Nigerian domestic gas market. According to Okechukwu Mba, Managing Director of AGPC, ‘Once operational, AGPC will be a significant supplier of gas to Nigeria’s power sector, supporting local employment and the cleaner generation of power for Nigerian homes and businesses. We conservatively estimate that the gas from AGPC will be enough to generate electricity for more than 5 million people’. It is also expected to reinforce Seplat’s position as Nigeria’s leading indigenous diversified energy producer, as well as NGC’s position as a leading gas distributor.

The Templars team that advised on project was led by Chike Obianwu (Partner and Head of Finance Practice Group) and Yemisi Awonuga (Partner, Energy and Projects). They were supported by Managing Counsel Modupe Dabiri, Senior Associate Ojonugwa Ichaba and Associates Oluwatobi Alebiosu, Ojuolape Kalesanwo, Damilola Oshodi,Victor Sameria and Uba Emole.

Commenting on the transaction, Chike Obianwu stated, ‘We are pleased to have played a central role in the financing of what is, without a doubt, a project of strategic national importance – the first of the 7CGDPs which are expected to drive Nigeria’s transition to cleaner, less expensive power generation and generally boost domestic gas supply and utilization. This is yet another example of Templars continued position as the law firm of choice for financiers and project sponsors and developers seeking assistance on the most important oil and gas infrastructure projects and financings in Nigeria…’.