Gasunie and Royal Vopak, the main shareholders of Gate terminal, have announced that the company has signed a financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and four other banks that already participate in the syndicate of ten international banks which currently provide long term financing to Gate terminal.
This additional financing agreement supports the funding of the expansion of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) break bulk infrastructure and services at the Gate terminal in the Port of Rotterdam.
The investment in this break bulk infrastructure, first announced on 3 July 2014, is expected to boost the use of LNG as a cleaner alternative transportation fuel in the Netherlands and Northwest Europe. The new infrastructure will be located next to Gate terminal. Since 2011 the terminal enables overseas LNG import into Europe which enhances gas supply diversification and increases the security of supply.
The new financial agreement is an addition of €76 millon to the existing long term debt financing program of Gate terminal of €750 million, as originally established in 2008.
The construction of the new break bulk infrastructure is scheduled to start later this year. Commissioning of the facility and commencement of the first services are scheduled for the first half year of 2016. Gate terminal will be expanded with an additional harbor basin, financed by the Port of Rotterdam that enables LNG distribution for small scale use with a maximum capacity of 280 berthing slots per year. As the launching customer, Shell plays a key role in enabling the project.
In January 2014, Gate terminal has successfully launched a loading station for trucks and containers, with a total capacity of 5,000 trucks per year. The new break bulk facility will continue the further development of the terminal into a hub, from where LNG can be re-exported to other parts of Europe and around the world.
The expansion of the financing facility will have a maturity in line with the existing financing which expires at the end of 2029. The EIB will finance €38 million and the syndicate of four banks a maximum of €38 million supported by an additional guarantee facility.
Next to the European Investment Bank, the original syndicate of ten banks consists of: ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., Bayerische Landesbank, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, DNB Bank ASA, Handelsbanken, ING Bank N.V., Rabobank, and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.
Simmons & Simmons acted as legal advisor. The European Investment Bank and the syndicate of banks were advised by Ashurst.