Dutch FPSO supplier SBM Offshore has closed a US$600 million bridge loan facility for the financing of the construction of FPSO Sepetiba (formerly known as Mero 2) destined for deployment in Brazil with Petrobras.
SBM Offshore said the loan was secured by the special purpose company owning FPSO Sepetiba and was agreed with a consortium of four international banks.
SBM Offshore is the majority owner of this special purpose company (with 64.5% equity ownership), together with Mitsubishi Corporation (20%) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (15.5%).
The loan 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 US$1 billion revolving credit facility for the second half of 2020.
Bert-Jaap Dijkstra, Group Treasurer of SBM Offshore, said: “The successful closure of this bridge facility demonstrates the robustness of our financing model as well as the strength of SBM Offshore’s long-standing relationships with our banks. 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.”
22,5-year lease in Brazil
In December 2019, SBM Offshore firmed up contracts with Brazil’s Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) for the 22.5-years lease and operation of the FPSO. The FPSO will be deployed at the Mero field in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil.
The unit will be built under SBM’s Fast4Ward program, which incorporates a newbuild, multi-purpose hull combined with several standardized topsides modules, and is expected to be delivered in 2022, SBM said.
The FPSO will link to 16 wells and will have the capacity to process up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), with water injection capacity of 250,000 barrels per day, associated gas treatment capacity of 12 million standard cubic meters per day and a minimum storage capacity of 1.4 million barrels of crude oil. It will be spread moored in approximately 2,000 meters water depth. Production startup is planned for 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%, Shell with 20%, Total with 20%, CNODC with 10% and CNOOC Limited with 10% interest. The consortium also has the participation of the state-owned company Pré-Sal Petróleo SA (PPSA) as manager of the Production Sharing Contract.
The project partners announced final investment decision (FID) for the second phase of the Mero development in June 2020.
Following the launch of FPSO Sepetiba, it is expected that another two FPSOs of the same capacity will be added, subject to partner approvals, according to Petrobras.