National oil and gas company PetroSA had appointed a consortium of local and international legal firms to advise it on the planned 400,000-barrel-a-day crude oil refinery in Coega, near Port Elizabeth, the company said Wednesday .
PetroSA would, according to the head of its legal department, Owen Tobias, rely on the consortium "to steer us through what could be a minefield of local and international legal requirements".
The services of the consortium would include providing advice on the project's overall structure, joint venture arrangements, project finance, co-lending requirements, regulatory approvals and permits, technological licences and environmental obligations.
The consortium, to be known as ENS consortium, was made up of three South African law firms -- Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, Mkhabela Huntley Adekeye and Qunta Incorporated -- as well as two international US-based law firms, Clifford Chance and Nixon Peabody, PetroSA said.
"What sets the ENS consortium apart is that not only does it have deep expertise and experience, boasting a string of successful transactions in Africa and other parts of the world, but the ENS consortium team working on the Mthombo project will be led by two experienced senior black ENS directors," Tobias said.
"Through this appointment we have ensured that the goals of transformation and black economic empowerment are advanced."
Tobias said Clifford Chance and Nixon Peabody had experience on projects similar to the Coega refinery, also known as Project Mthombo. The refinery is expected to come on stream by 2014.
The project, according to PetroSA, is at a feasibility stage, with the final investment decision expected next year.
The group has appointed UK-based KPC Process as the project's technical and commercial services advisers, while financial services group HSBC will be the financial advisers.
In December last year, PetroSA awarded the engineering and construction contract to US-based engineering group KBR. In terms of the contract, KBR will conduct feasibility studies and front-end engineering design for the project.
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