Caspian Services Secures More Funding for Marine Base Project
Caspian Services revealed that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Balykshi have entered into agreements to increase the potential financial commitment of EBRD to help fund the development of a private-sector marine base being developed by Caspian. Balykshi is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caspian Real Estate Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary Caspian.
On June 28, 2007 Balykshi and EBRD agreed to amend the Loan Agreement entered into by them in December 2006 to increase the amount of funds EBRD has committed to loan Balykshi from $24 million to $32 million. The parties also entered into an Investment Agreement pursuant to which EBRD will make an equity investment in Balykshi of up to $10 million. The loans and the equity investment are contingent upon Caspian providing $29.8 million in funding to Balykshi. The funding is designated for the development and construction of the Caspian marine base in the Bay of Bautino in the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea.
Paul Roberts, Director of Balykshi, said, "the signing of the financing agreements with the EBRD represents the culmination of almost three years of planning, design and project financing arrangements for the base. This exciting and important infrastructure development will enable Caspian to provide an unparalleled range of services to the oil industry exploring the massive reserves of the Kazakhstan sector of the North Caspian Sea. The base is an environmental milestone in the region, designed to provide a clean, efficient ship to shore transfer of fuel, sewage, waste, goods, inter alia mitigating the handling exposure. Longer term it is envisaged that the base will house an oil spill response unit to further enhance Kazakhstan's capability."
Peter Reiniger, EBRD Business Group Director, underlined that the project is the first infrastructure project in Kazakhstan to be sponsored by a fully private company. "The EBRD will contribute to demonstrate that there is room for private players in the rapidly expanding industry servicing the needs of oil and gas companies." Mr. Reiniger added, "The Bank's involvement will also guarantee that highest environmental standards are being met during construction and operation."
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