May update

Since the last issue of Focus, the Olkaria III geothermal power project in Kenya has reached financial close. Trinity acted for the lenders, DEG, FMO, Proparco and The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. Having survived the challenges of the political upheaval in Kenya in late 2007/early 2008 and the global financial crisis, we take this opportunity to congratulate the project’s sponsor, Ormat, and its lenders on closing the transaction.

We are very pleased to say that the Trinity team has grown through the addition of Kaushik Ray, a senior associate. Kaushik trained and qualified as a solicitor at Allen & Overy LLP, gaining experience in its Projects, Energy and Infrastructure group both in London and Paris. With Kaushik’s experience in project finance across a range of sectors in both oil & gas, power and infrastructure transactions with particular experience in acting for lenders, he is a valuable addition to the firm.

Trinity continues to be busy on transactions acting for lenders and developers/sponsors alike. Although the firm has a number of active transactions in the power, transport infrastructure and oil & gas sectors, we have particularly noticed increased activity in the renewables sector. We are currently involved in opportunities in wind power, hydropower, energy-from-waste, sustainable forestry and bioethanol production in jurisdictions including Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda and Mauritius.

In this edition of Focus, Kaushik talks about the recent developments in the sphere of investment treaties and the role the treaties can play in considering the feasibility and viability of a project development or lending opportunity in a particular jurisdiction. Investment treaties and the enforceability of them can be key to an investment decision both from an equity and debt perspective. We hope, therefore, that the article will prove to be of interest.

In most projects Trinity advises on, we find ourselves analysing the nature of security which is available to be granted to the potential lenders in order to take a view as to the bankability of that security package (as well as any impediments the local legal jurisdiction may present). In this process, it is always useful to compare the particular structure to that which is available under English law. In Legalese, Marina Aidar provides a basic overview of the different types of security available under English law to give the reader a flavour of the options.

As ever, if you have any comments to make in respect of Focus or have any topics you think may be of interest, please feel free to contact any of the Trinity team.