Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, one of Nigeria’s independent energy companies says its incorporated Joint Venture, the ANOH Gas Processing Company (AGPC) has successfully raised about $260million in debt to fund the completion of its gas processing plant.
Seplat Petroleum is a Nigerian energy firm listed on both the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
The 300million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) capacity ANOH plant is located on oil mining lease (OML) 53 in Imo State.
The plant is being constructed by AGPC, owned between Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Seplat and NGC which previously provided a combined $420million in equity funding said on Monday the project being pursued as part of the joint venture energy transition initiative is now fully-funded.
The latest $260million funding, Seplat Petroleum said in a corporate filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday to inform its investors, shareholders and the general public was provided by a consortium of seven banks.
The consortium of banks included Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc as the finance advisor, along with United Bank for Africa Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, FirstRand Bank Limited (London Branch)/RMB Nigeria Limited, The Mauritius Commercial Bank Limited, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and FCMB Capital Markets Limited.
Seplat Petroleum said the funding allows for an additional $60million accordion at the time of completion to fund an equity rebalancing payment at that time, if considered appropriate.
The company also said it received funding commitments of more than $450million, which is a significant oversubscription and a strong sign of confidence in the project.
Following a cost optimization programme, the AGPC construction cost is now expected to be no more than $650million, inclusive of financing costs and taxes, significantly lower than the original projected cost of $700million.
Seplat described ANOH as one of Nigeria’s most strategic gas projects expected to help Nigeria in accelerating its energy transition away from small-scale diesel generators to cleaner, less expensive fuels, such as natural gas for power generation.
One of Seplat’s core businesses is providing natural gas to Nigeria’s power sector, supplying around 30 percent of gas used for electricity generation in the country.
The Managing Director of ANOH Gas Processing Company Okechukwu Mba, said: “Successfully closing the $260million debt facility means that the ANOH project is now fully funded.
“Once operational, AGPC will be a significant supplier of gas to Nigeria’s power sector, supporting local employment and the cleaner generation of power for Nigerian homes and businesses.
“We conservatively estimate that the gas from AGPC will be enough to generate electricity for more than 5 million people”.
For the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat, Roger Brown, “Completing the funding of ANOH is an important milestone for AGPC. The ANOH development is one of the government’s Seven Critical Gas Development Projects and our involvement provides a clear path towards strengthening Seplat’s position as Nigeria’s leading indigenous diversified energy producer.
“It will help us drive, alongside our government partners, Nigeria’s transition to cleaner, less expensive power generation. We are extremely proud to partner with the Nigerian Gas Company in this strategically important project, which will create jobs and prosperity in the Nigerian economy.”
He said Seplat will continue to diversify its business and invest in gas to help Nigeria develop its own natural resources, which in turn will drive more sustainable social and economic growth for a young, rapidly growing population.