One week after the presidential flag off of the Kolmani drilling, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) yesterday sealed a $1.4 billion external project finance agreement jointly arranged by Standard Chartered Bank UK and the United Bank for Africa for the funding of the Kolmani Integrated Development project.
THISDAY learnt that the agreement was sealed under the NNPC Limited/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture at the signing ceremony held in London.
Speaking at the event, the NNPC Executive Vice President, Upstream, Mr. Adokiye Tombomieye, expressed delight at the overwhelming response of each of the 16 lenders participating in the financing programme.
He said their participation at the funding programme was a clear demonstration of the great confidence reposed in the NNPC by the market.
Tombomieye explained that while this level of interest was not new to offerings by the NNPCL/CNL Joint Venture, the fact that it was sustained at this time of very high uncertainties was remarkable.
He said, “I am glad to welcome you to the signing ceremony of Project Panther, the $1.4 billion external project finance jointly arranged by Standard Chartered Bank UK and United Bank for Africa for Northern Hydrocarbon Funding Limited on behalf of the NNPC Limited/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture.
“We are truly delighted at the overwhelming response of each of the sixteen Lenders participating in this financing programme, a clear demonstration of the great confidence reposed in us by the market.
“While this level of interest is not new to offerings by the NNPCL/CNL Joint Venture, the fact that is sustained at this time of very high uncertainties is indeed remarkable.
“It is obvious that our diligence in meeting debt service obligations especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has not gone unnoticed by the market, and I will therefore like to affirm our commitment delivering true value to our esteemed Lenders in this regard.”
He stated further that in collaboration with its valued partners, the NNPC Limited was firmly committed to reliably delivering energy for today and energy for tomorrow with increasing focus on sustainability
He added, “While appreciating the role of our lenders in the great success of the programme, I will like to thank the Joint Finance Team for working tirelessly to deliver Project Panther. I will also like to recognise the effort of loan arrangers, the associated legal firms, and all other Project Panther stakeholders.
“I will also like to close by emphasising NNPC Limited’s commitment to consistently delivering value to all stakeholders, most notably Nigerians, our shareholders, our partners, and our lenders.”
The deal is coming exactly one week after President Muhammadu Buhari officially flagged-off the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kolmani Oil Prospecting Licences (OPLs) 809 and 810 at the Kolmani field site in Bauchi and Gombe States.
The president had during the flag off disclosed that the Kolmani project had already attracted about $3 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Tombomieye and the NNPC had in October 2019, announced the discovery of crude oil, gas and condensate in the Kolmani River region at the border community between Bauchi and Gombe states.
This oil field is to be developed by Sterling Global Oil, New Nigeria Development Company and NNPC Limited and the development entails the construction of 120,000 barrels per day refinery, gas processing plant, power plant, and fertilizer plant.