SBM Offshore closes financing for construction of FPSO Sepetiba

Dutch FPSO operator SBM Offshore has closed a $600 million bridge loan facility for the financing of the construction of FPSO Sepetiba.

Fast4Ward design; Source: SBM Offshore
Fast4Ward design
Fast4Ward design; Source: SBM Offshore

SBM said on Wednesday that the facility was secured by the special purpose company owning FPSO Sepetiba and was agreed with a consortium of four international banks.

SBM Offshore is a majority owner of this special purpose company (with a 64.5 per cent equity ownership), together with Mitsubishi Corporation (20 per cent) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (15.5 per cent).

SBM divested a minority interest in the FPSO Sepetiba project to the two Japanese companies following confirmation of a 22.5-year lease and operation contract with Petrobras in December 2019.

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The facility will be drawn in July 2020 to finance the ongoing construction of the FPSO Sepetiba.

The tenor of the bridge loan is six months with an extension option for another six months. The facility benefits from sponsor guarantees, which are to be released upon repayment.

Repayment is expected to take place upon closure and first drawdown of the project loan which continues to progress. The facility’s weighted average interest margin is in line with the expected margin of SBM Offshore’s existing $1 billion revolving credit facility for the second half of 2020.

Bert-Jaap Dijkstra, Group Treasurer of SBM Offshore, commented: “As the facility is arranged at the level of the special purpose vehicle, it represents a financing tool which enables SBM Offshore and partners to optimize the financing of major projects.

“Further, this bridge facility improves SBM Offshore’s liquidity position at a competitive rate”.

The FPSO Sepetiba will be deployed at the Mero field in the Santos Basin, 180 kilometres offshore Rio de Janeiro.

The unit will be of a Fast4Ward design as it incorporates the company’s new build, multi-purpose hull combined with several standardized topsides modules.

Delivery of the FPSO is expected in 2022.

The Libra block, where the Mero field is located, is under Production Sharing Agreement to a Consortium comprised of Petrobras, as the Operator, with 40 per cent, Shell with 20 per cent, Total with 20 per cent, CNODC with 10 per cent and CNOOC Limited with 10 per cent interest.