London based White & Case LLP law firm is upbeat after playing a critical role on the development and US$2.73 billion financing of the landmark Nacala Corridor Railway and Port Project.
“This is a large-scale, innovative, highly complex, cross-jurisdictional infrastructure project.”
“It has been a privilege to support our clients and see the positive benefits that they, the project, and the project finance lenders are bringing to Mozambique and Malawi” said London-based White & Case partner Caroline Miller Smith, who led the Firm’s deal team.
Nacala corridor is an integrated and transformative infrastructure project supporting growth along a regional corridor shared by two countries – Mozambique and Malawi being developed by Vale S.A. and Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
This major cross-jurisdictional infrastructure project comprises the construction of a 912km railway line to transport coal from Vale’s and Mitsui’s mine in Moatize, Mozambique across Malawi (including 682km of brownfield land) to a new coal port in Nacala-à-Velha, on the eastern coast of Mozambique.
The project, which also includes the construction of a deep sea port and associated terminal infrastructure at Nacala-à-Velha, required an agreement to be entered into between Mozambique and Malawi governments.
Once completed, the landmark Nacala Corridor Railway and Port Project and its financing will provide a template for other significant resource-based infrastructure projects in Africa.
“There are always the usual challenges with a very large multi-source project financing, but this transaction was truly unique – starting with a highly complex lending structure with eight loan facilities advanced to four borrowers in two countries” said London-based White & Case partner Carina Radford.
White & Case advised Vale S.A. and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on all aspects of the landmark transaction including project development and drafting and negotiating project, corporate and finance documents.
A team of lawyers from offices across the Firm’s global network negotiated 108 sophisticated documents involving a multitude of third party service providers and around 14 financial institutions – commercial banks, development funds and governmental export-credit agencies (including Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance, Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa and African Development Bank).