PDVSA to Hire Mariscal Sucre Coordinating Bank

Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA expects to hire a bank to coordinate the financing of its US$2.7bn Mariscal Sucre liquefied natural gas (LNG) project "soon," a PDVSA source told BNamericas. "We are still scouting the banks to see the feasibility of financing the project," the source said, adding, "We haven't really started to seek financing formally."

PDVSA executives recently met with banks and financial institutions in New York to seek a financial coordinator for the project, the source said. "The first step is to hire an advisor and that decision will be made soon at a corporate level," Aboub said.

According to a previous report, PDVSA executives met with Citigroup, ABN Amro, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase and the US Export Import Bank (Ex-Im). PDVSA expects to sign a 35-year joint venture deal with UK-Dutch company Shell and Japan's Mitsubishi to develop Mariscal Sucre by end-November. The partners plan to award a construction contract for the liquefaction plant by late 2005 and start construction by early 2006, ready to start production of about 4.7 million metric tons of LNG a year in 2008.

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