LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Herbert Smith has advised Gaz de France on the entry into a project development agreement with INEOS Enterprises for the commercial development of a major salt cavern gas storage facility at Stublach in North-West England.
Under the terms of the agreement, Gaz de France will develop and operate the infrastructures under a 30-year lease agreement running until 2037. INEOS Enterprises will provide solution mining services for the creation of the caverns. The total development investment budget is estimated at around £350 million.
Crucially, unlike many similar projects under consideration or development elsewhere in the UK, the facility at Stublach already enjoys planning permission. Once completed the new facility, which will be one of the main UK storage facilities, will enhance the security of gas supply to the UK market.
The Herbert Smith team was led by Mark Newbery and Cecile Wake assisted by Simon Tysoe and Alastair Young. Real estate advice was provided by Iain Rothnie assisted by Susan Hearn and Lydia Kent-Smith. Planning and environmental advice was provided by Alexandra Ground and Maria Cull, whilst tax advice was given by Derek Hill and David Jacob.
The team worked closely with Gaz de France’s in-house lawyer, Florence Perrot.
Linklaters LLP acted as legal advisers to INEOS Enterprises on the commercial agreement with Evershed LLP providing advice on real estate issues. The Linklaters team was led by Matthew Keats and Andrew Miller and the Eversheds team by Phillip Tunney, assisted by Wendy Brown.
Lehman Brothers, led by Andrew Fry, acted as INEOS’ financial adviser and facilitated the transaction.
Mark Newbery commented:
“”Herbert Smith is delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the Gaz de France’s excellent legal and commercial team on this transaction. This is the latest of a number of gas storage transactions on which we have advised clients over the past three years and it is great to have been able to enhance our practice in this important area of the energy industry.”