Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed an untied loan agreement with the government of Oman to provide up to US$660mn to finance a port development project.

The facility is being co-financed with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which is acting as lead arranger. Joining the commercial tranche of the facility are: Mizuho Corporate bank, SMBC, the Tokyo branches of Calyon, Societeté Générale BNP Paribas and HSBC. JBIC is providing a guarantee for this portion of the debt.

The loan will support the construction of port facilities including dry docks for repairing LNG and other types of tankers. Despite a rising number of tankers in need of refurbishment, port facilities with dry docks still have limited capacities.

JBIC’s involvement in improving facilities is aimed at helping Japanese shipping firms operating in the region keep their maintenance costs low.

Oman has become an important supplier of energy resources for Japan, and in recent years the country has been working to diversify its sources of revenue away from the oil and gas sector. It has been investing in energy-related projects and developing infrastructure, aiming to attract increased foreign investment.