Leading private equity firm to form joint venture with QInvest and other Qatari investors to bring much-needed natural gas to the Egyptian market starting mid-2013
Citadel Capital SAE (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange), the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa with US$ 9.5 billion in investments under control, today signed a project development and shareholders’ agreement pursuant to which a group of Qatari investors, arranged by QInvest, and Citadel Capital will form a joint venture to construct and own the facilities required to position a Floating LNG storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at a location in Egypt to deliver natural gas to high-volume end-users.
The joint venture will import LNG, regasify it at the FSRU, transmit it through the Egyptian national natural gas grid and market the natural gas to local high-volume end-users. It expects to enter into the Egyptian market pursuant to the licensing process for import of natural gas recently announced by the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
QInvest is Qatar’s leading investment bank with business lines including investment banking, investment management, brokerage and wealth management. QInvest is owned by Qatar Islamic Bank, as well as other institutional investors and prominent high net worth individuals from across the Middle East and has an authorized capital of US$ 1 billion.
The Qatari investment group will hold a 51% interest in the planned joint venture, with Citadel Capital holding the balance. The planned location of the FSRU facility and the expected investment cost of the project were not announced. The planned joint venture has secured the technical and commercial cooperation of global industry leaders in the field.
“We are delighted to partner with QInvest on this project, which will stand as an important pillar of Egypt’s energy security at a key moment in the nation’s development,” said Citadel Capital Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal. “We believe that Egypt is in strong need of additional natural gas to feed the power generation sector and supply Egypt’s industrial base with a reliable, clean source of energy. Citadel Capital has very strong technical skills in this sector and unrivalled knowledge of the current and planned large consumers of natural gas, thereby putting us in a unique position to market imported natural gas in Egypt.”
This marks Citadel Capital’s second large project in Egypt’s energy sector with Qatari investors, following this year’s successful financial close of the US$ 3.7 billion financing package for the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) project, in which Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) is a key shareholder.
Energy is one of five core industries in which Citadel Capital invests, alongside mining, agriculture and consumer foods, transportation and logistics and cement manufacturing.