Latham & Watkins Advises on the Largest Integrated Refining and Petrochemicals Sino-foreign Joint Venture in China

LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Latham & Watkins advised Fujian Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited (FREP), a joint venture among Sinopec, Fujian Province, and subsidiaries of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and Exxon Mobil*, on China’s first integrated refining and petrochemical project with foreign participation.

The debt facilities for FREP are arranged on a limited recourse basis and comprise long term and working capital facilities with a total value of RMB30 billion yuan (approximately $4 billion), and represent the largest project financing to date for a Sino-foreign joint venture in China. The activities for the expansion of the existing refinery in Fujian Province and the additional new petrochemical facilities are expected to be completed in early 2009.

Latham & Watkins has served as counsel to the borrower and the project sponsors for more than one year. As such, Latham played an especially important role in structuring the financing. Latham also drafted all principal financing documents.

The Latham & Watkins team was co-led by partners Joseph Bevash and Sabrina Maguire, and included partner Stephen McWilliams and associates Andrew Lam, Zheng Wang and Gilles Cardonnnel.

Shareholders in FREP are the Fujian Petrochemical Company Limited (50 percent), ExxonMobil China Petroleum and Petrochemical Company Limited (25 percent) and Saudi Aramco Sino Company Limited (25 percent).*

* Fujian Petrochemical Company Limited (FPCL) is owned 50 percent by China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and 50 percent by the Fujian Government. ExxonMobil China Petroleum and Petrochemical Company Limited (ExxonMobil) is a wholly owned affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Saudi Aramco Sino Company Limited (SASC) is a wholly owned affiliate of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco).

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