Australian gas producer Santos has secured a US$1.2bn facility from a consortium of commercial banks and ECAs to help construct the Gladstone LNG project (GLNG) in Queensland, Australia.

The facility comprises three senior unsecured loans including a US$280mn loan provided by ANZ, HSBC and Citi as mandated lead arrangers. It carries a 8.5-year tenor and is backed by Italy’s Sace.

The second loan is an 8.5-year US$400mn loan provided by ANZ, HSBC and Citi as mandated lead arrangers and is backed by Australia’s EFIC.

Finally, the US$670mn loan which will amortise in 2019, is provided by ANZ, EDC, BTMU, CBA and NAB, and is guaranteed by Canada’s EDC.
Taylor-DeJongh acted as financial advisor to Santos on the three facilities.

The funds will provide Santos with additional liquidity with flexible drawdown dates during the construction period of the GLNG project.

Santos chief financial officer, Andrew Seaton says the ECA facilities demonstrate the company’s ability to source capital from a diverse range of sources on attractive terms.

“The strong support we received from existing and new lenders demonstrates the strength of the Santos business and financial profile. We continue to maintain a strong balance sheet. With these new debt facilities, Santos will have more than US$7bn of available funding capacity, including cash and committed corporate and project debt facilities,” Seaton adds.

With an overall cost of US$16bn, the GLNG project will process coal seam gas (CSG) into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and has a nameplate capacity of 7.8mn tonnes of LNG a year. This deal also marks the first ECA financing related to a CSG-to-LNG project.