Inpex completes Ichthys loan refinancing deal

Japan’s Inpex said on Tuesday it has completed previously launched refinancing of part of the funding for its Ichthys liquefied natural gas export project in Australia.

The refinancing deal includes a portion of the project finance loans arranged in 2012 with export credit agencies and commercial banks. It includes loan conversions and improved borrowing conditions.

Inpex launched the refinancing in March after the project achieved financial completion in December and was now continuing stable production.

“The project’s smooth progress despite the impact of the decline in oil prices caused by the spread of Covid-19 and other factors was evaluated favorably,” Inpex said.

The new refinanicing deal covers about $8.3 billion out of the $15.6 billion of the project’s total finance loans.

The deal involves seven export credit agencies and 28 commercial banks.

Inpex said the refinancing deal would boost the value of the project by reducing the financial commitment of Ichthys LNG.

Furthermore, Inpex says the deal is part of its cost reduction initiatives in response to the oil price crash.

The company sees the deal improving the resilience of its business structure.

The Ichthys project produces LNG at the 8.9 million tonnes per year plant at Bladin Point near Darwin.

Natural gas arrives in Darwin from the giant Ichthys field offshore Western Australia via an 890-kilometre export pipeline.

Ichthys LNG is a joint venture between operator Inpex, major partner France’s Total. Other partners include Australian units of CPC Corporation Taiwan, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, JERA and Toho Gas.

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