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Ashurst, Herbert Smith and White & Case have scored top roles advising on the financing of Abu Dhabi’s $1.5bn (£920m) Shuweihat 3 Independent Power Plant (IPP) project.
The IPP project, which reached financial close on 19 May, is the world’s biggest power project financing this year. The 1.6GW power plant is expected to be operational by spring 2014.
Herbert Smith advised project sponsors Sumitomo Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), with Abu Dhabi managing partner Andrew Newbery leading on the deal alongside partners Craig Shepherd, who is advising on construction, and David Laurence, who is providing additional power expertise.
Ashurst acted as international and United Arab Emirates counsel and advised the lenders, which included export credit agencies Japan Bank for International Cooperation and The Export-Import Bank of Korea and commercial banks including BNP Paribas, Mizuho Bank and HSBC.
Abu Dhabi-based energy partner David Wadham and London-based partner John Inglis led on the deal, with support from partner Chris Whiteley on hedging aspects.
White & Case acted for procuring authority and first-ranked bidder Abu Dhabi Water & Electric Authority, and as international counsel for the Abu Dhabi government. Lead partners included Sandy Kritzalis and Raymond Azar in New York and Jason Kerr and Ellis Baker in London.
Trowers & Hamlins supported Herbert Smith as local counsel.
In a statement, Herbert Smith’s Newbery said: “The project’s significance doesn’t stop at the size of the financing. It’s the first of what will no doubt be a number of IPP successes for Sumitomo and Kepco in Abu Dhabi.”