Uzbekistan is the unlikely location of Central Asia’s largest limited recourse project financing to date with a US$4bn upstream gas and petrochemicals production complex in the country’s northwest.

In the country’s first transaction of its kind, the Surgil project is being developed by a joint venture company owned by state-run Uzbekneftegaz (UNG) and a Korean consortium consisting of Kogas, Honam and STX Energy.

Aijan Sadyrova, vice-president in ING’s natural resources advisory division, tells GTR that more than 20 commercial banks in Europe and Asia have been invited to join the Export-Import Bank of Korea, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and China Development Bank to lend US$2.6bn under export credit agency and ADB-covered facilities.

ING is acting as financial advisor to the joint venture company.

The loans will be split into multiple tranches.

The ECA and China Development Bank tranches will have a 15 to 16-year tenor, while the ADB tranche will come with a 12 to 13-year tenor.

The Surgil gas field is believed to hold around 130 billion cubic meters of natural gas.