Cadwalader completes major Tanzanian projects energy deal

The London office of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has wrapped up a major projects deal in Tanzania.
A team from the projects group, led by partner Paul Biggs, acted for AES Corporation on the $250m (£174.3m) Songo Songo Gas-to-Electricity Project.
The Cadwalader team brought the deal to a close less than two days after the World Bank gave its approval. It concludes one of the longest-running projects in the region. Biggs, who brought AES with him when he joined Cadwalader from CMS Cameron McKenna, said that the project has been in existence for around 15 years.
Biggs has spent two years on the project, which will bring a new source of power to Tanzania. Traditionally reliant on hydropower or coal, Tanzania suffers from power shortages during seasons of low rainfall.
Biggs said: “Tanzania desperately needs another source of fuel. This is a genuine, quality gas field situated offshore.”
He observed that the project was made complicated as it was essentially three projects in one. Songo Songo comprises a gas field development, a 220km marine and land pipeline and a power plant. Biggs said: “It certainly produced a lot of issues that we'd never had to deal with before.”
Not least of which was the manner in which the project was financed. “It was almost the reverse of a lot of deals,” said Biggs. “Normally, debt would rank ahead of equity, but in this case it doesn't.”
The project has gained backing from both the World Bank and the European Investment Bank. Biggs said that it was this method of funding the project which differentiated it from other projects.
Hunton & Williams partner John Beardsworth advised the Tanzanian government, while equity investors CDC Capital Partners and Tanzania Development Finance Company both handled their work in-house.