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|20 January, 2019

Alba reaches the financial close in export credit financing

The proceeds from the ECA direct and guaranteed loans are used to finance the provision of equipment in relation to Alba's Line 6 Expansion Project.

Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa, Albarsquo;s Chairman of BOD

Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa, Alba’s Chairman of BOD

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), on the go to become the world’s largest smelter, is pleased to announce that it has successfully closed by the end of 2018 the final instalment of the 2nd tranche in respect of the financing of Aba’s Line 6 Expansion Project, consisting of c.US$136 million and c. EUR90 million from Export Credit Agency (ECA) supported-facilities.

The proceeds from the ECA direct and guaranteed loans are used to finance the provision of equipment in relation to Alba’s Line 6 Expansion Project.

The facilities are made-up of: c. US$136 million Export Development Canada (“EDC”) supported-facility with a 10-year tenor wherein the principal amount is to be repaid over a 10-year period; and c. EUR90 million Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)/Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) supported-facilities comprising two contract loans, the first of which has a tenor of 10-year and a principal repayment period of 9.5 years, and the second contract loan having a tenor of 6 years with the principal amount to be repaid over a 5.5-year period.

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Commenting on this milestone, Alba’s Chairman of Board of Directors, Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa said:

“This is another concrete highlight for us and a step closer towards transforming our vision into reality with the safe start-up of Line 6.

We are also truly thankful to receive further support from our banking partners in the ECA supported-facilities.”

The Mandated Lead Arranger for the EDC covered-facility is Citibank N.A. (Canada Branch), and Citibank N.A. also acted as the Facility Agent for the EDC covered-facility. With respect to the JBIC/NEXI supported-facilities, the Mandated Lead Arranger is BNP Paribas (Tokyo), and BNP Paribas also acted as the Facility Agent for the JBIC/NEXI supported facilities.

Alba successfully closed a US$1.5 Billion syndicated term-loan facility comprising two tranches: a Conventional Facility & and an Islamic Facility in October 2016; the first tranche of the Export Credit Financing of c. US$700 million for Euler Hermes and SERV-covered facilities was concluded in July 2017; the first part of 2nd tranche of Export Credit Financing of c. EUR204.5 million comprising Bpifrance Assurance Export (“BpiAE”) and the Euler Hermes-covered facilities was concluded in April 2018.

-Ends-

About Alba

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) - one of the largest and modern aluminium smelters in the world - is renowned for its premium grade aluminium products, technological strength and innovative policies, strict environmental guidelines and high track record for safety. Established in 1971 as a 120,000 tonnes per annum smelter, Alba today produces more than 1 million metric tonnes per annum of the highest grade aluminium, with products including standard and T-ingots, extrusion billets, rolling slab, properzi ingots, and molten aluminium.

Alba is listed on both the Bahrain Bourse and London Stock Exchange, and the Company’s shareholders are Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (69.38%), SABIC Industrial Investment Company (20.62%) and the General Public (10%). 

About Line 6 Expansion Project 

Alba’s Line 6 Expansion Project is one of the biggest brownfield developments in the Middle East Region.

Commissioned on 13 December 2018, the Line 6 Expansion Project will boost Alba’s per-annum production by 540,000 metric tonnes with a total production capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes per year. The pride of the Kingdom of Bahrain, this Project will make Alba the world’s largest aluminium smelter.

With a CAPEX of approximately US$ 3 billion, the Line 6 Expansion Project involves the construction of a sixth pot line using EGA’s proprietary DX+ Ultra Technology, a 1,792 MW Power Station (Power Station 5) utilising the world’s first H-class General Electric (GE) 9HA Gas Turbine (GT) and other industrial services.

Bechtel is the EPCM contractor for the Line 6 Expansion Project smelter. For Power Station 5 (PS 5), GE and GAMA Consortium was awarded the EPC contract, while Siemens is the Power Distribution System contractor.  J.P. Morgan, Gulf International Bank (GIB) and National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) are the Financial Advisors for this Project. In June 2015, Alba Board approved the Line 6 Expansion Project and in November 2015, Alba secured the natural gas supply for this Project.

Alba successfully closed a US$ 1.5 Billion syndicated term-loan facility comprising two tranches: Conventional Facility & and Islamic Facility in October 2016, the 1st tranche of the Export Credit Financing of c. US$ 700 million for Euler Hermes and SERV-covered facilities in July 2017 and the first part of 2nd ECA-tranche of EUR 204.5 million for Bpifrance Assurance Export (“BpiAE”) and Euler Hermes-covered facilities in April 2018. The Company is about to the final part of 2nd ECA-tranche.

As of December 31, 2018, Line 6 Smelter’s Overall Progress exceeded 80% (Engineering progressed by more than 97% while Contracts and Procurement advanced by 98%); Power Station 5 & Power Distribution System Overall Progress advanced by 83% and by over 96% respectively.

Line 6 Expansion Project will be transformational for the Kingdom of Bahrain as it will significantly boost employment opportunities for Bahrainis at both Alba and the local downstream market. It also present many co-investment opportunities through local and foreign aluminium investments in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Alba External Grievance Mechanism 

Alba, in line with the Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank affiliated lending organisation, has launched its External Grievance Mechanism to receive and facilitate the resolution of the affected communities’ concerns and grievances about Alba’s Environment and Social (E&S) performance.

External grievances about Alba’s E&S performance can be logged via the Alba Integrity Line - an independently operated confidential reporting hotline in multiple languages - via a toll-free phone system or via the intranet 24 hours a day, every day. 

For further details, please contact:

Eline Hilal

Senior Manager, Investor Relations and Corporate Secretary 

Tel:         (973) 1783 5100  

E-mail:   eline.hilal@alba.com.bh 

Website: www.albasmelter.com.bh  

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© Press Release 2019

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