A group led by BOC Group, Murray Hill, N.J., has completed financing of $623 million for building the world's largest nitrogen plant, part of an enhanced recovery project in Mexico's most important producing area, Cantarell.
Mexican state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos plans nitrogen injection as the centerpiece of a $10 billion megaproject to boost production in the Gulf of Campeche producing complex (see related story, p. 36).
Pemex Exploracíon y Produccion in October 1997 let a 15-year nitrogen supply contract to the consortium, which consists of BOC, 30%; Japan's Marubeni Corp., 30%; Canada's Westcoast Energy Inc., 20%; Germany's Linde AG, 10%; and Mexico's ICA Fluor Daniel S de CV, 10%.
After the contract was awarded, the consortium formed Cía. de Nitrógeno de Cantarell SA de CV (CNC) to implement the project, the total cost of which is pegged at more than $1 billion. It calls for building a plant in four trains-each of which would be the largest air separation unit ever built, BOC says. Total capacity would be 1.2 bscfd of high-purity, high-pressure nitrogen.
Pemex will inject the nitrogen into the Cantarell producing complex 80 km offshore. Facilities will include the equivalent of 500 MW of electrical power generating capacity and about 100 miles of pipeline.
CNC received $373.8 million from Export-Import Bank of Japan and $249.2 million from a Citibank-led group of commercial banks, including ABN AMRO NV, Bank of Nova Scotia, Credit Agricole Indosuez, Deutsche Bank AG, Export Development Corp., and Fuji Bank Ltd. Deutsche Bank also served as the BOC-led consortium's financial adviser throughout the project.
Under the agreements, CNC is required to pay back $388.6 million of the total loan over 9 years and $234.4 million over 7 years. On a weighted average basis, the loans will bear interest of about 7.3% prior to project completion and about 8.6% after completion.