A&O, Bakers tie up financing for Thai power plant project

Allen & Overy (A&O) and Baker & McKenzie have advised on the financing for the first large independent power producer project in Thailand to close since the global financial crash.

According to A&O, the $1.18bn (£760m) project financing for the 1,600MW, combined-cycle, natural gas-fired power plant in the Nong Saeng district (around 100km north of Bangkok), is the first independent power producer project to close in the country since 2008.

The project financing brought together Thai and international banks, with equity being invested from Gulf JP Company, which is majority owned by Japan’s largest wholesale power supplier J-Power, as the project sponsor.

A&O’s Tokyo and Bang­kok project finance teams, which were led by banking partner Adam Moncrieff and partner Stephen Jaggs respectively, advised the US dollar offshore lenders – Asian Development Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Mizuho Corporate Bank – and the Thai baht onshore lenders – Kasikornbank Public Company Limited and The Siam Commercial Bank Public Company.

Baker & McKenzie advised the Gulf JP Company. The deal was led by Singapore project finance partner Chew Chin and Bangkok banking and finance partner Komkrit Kietduriyakul. London project finance partner Calvin Walker and associate James Keeping were also involved. Both Walker and Keeping were formerly at A&O, moving to Baker & McKenzie in 2009.

The financing was achieved in eight months, with parties having to ­overcome inter-creditor issues, natural disasters in both Japan and Thailand (an earthquake and ­tsunami, and country-wide flooding, respectively) and administrative issues in the course of the deal.

The deal closed last week. Construction is scheduled to start this year with ­commercial operation expected begin in 2014.