UK-Norway Interconnector Power Cable Secures Export Credit

Press release - 19 DEC 2016

London / Milano / Roma / Stockholm, 19th December 2016 – EKN and SACE (Cdp Group) guaranteed US$ 752 million senior unsecured term loan facilities to National Grid North America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of National Grid plc.

The facilities, made up of a US$233 million EKN Guaranteed Export Credit and a US$519 million SACE Export Credit with the benefit of SIMEST Interest Make Up Agreement, are structured by BNP Paribas’ Corporate & Institutional Bank (CIB) in its role as sole structuring bank and agent, which was joined by HSBC and MUFG in their role as mandated lead arrangers and lenders under the SACE Export Credit, while SEK acted as sole lender under the EKN Guaranteed Export Credit.

The facilities are provided in consideration for National Grid’s share of EPC contracts between Prysmian Group, world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry and ABB, a pioneering technology leader working closely with utility, industry, transport and infrastructure customers, and National Grid North Sea Link / Statnett SF. The contracts provide respectively for the supply of HVDC converter stations and lay power cables for the "North Sea Link" electricity interconnector project, a €2 billion, 730km interconnector between the UK and Norway with a planned capacity of 1400 MW. Once completed it will be the world’s longest sub-sea power cable.

This ECA-backed financing package contributes towards a large part of National Grid’s funding needs on the UK-Norway 1400MW interconnector. The North Sea Link interconnector project will bring a number benefits for both countries, including an increase in security of supply, opportunities for shared use of renewable energy and additional transmission capacity, supporting economic growth in Norway and the UK.

This transaction represents the largest European power transmission linked ECA financing and power infrastructure ECA financing relating to a UK based project, providing National Grid with innovative, flexible and attractively-priced funding.

Company profiles

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 135,000 employees.

BNP Paribas is a leading bank in Europe with an international reach. It has a presence in 75 countries, with more than 189,000 employees, including more than 146,000 in Europe. The Group has key positions in its three main activities: Domestic Markets and International Financial Services (whose retail-banking networks and financial services are covered by Retail Banking & Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking, which serves two client franchises: corporate clients and institutional investors. The Group helps all its clients (individuals, community associations, entrepreneurs, SMEs, corporates and institutional clients) to realise their projects through solutions spanning financing, investment, savings and protection insurance. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail-banking model in Mediterranean countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas as well as a solid and fast-growing business in Asia-Pacific.

About BNP Paribas Corporate and Institutional Banking Fully integrated in the BNP Paribas Group and representing approx. one third of the Group's revenues, BNP Paribas Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) is a leading provider of solutions to two client franchises: corporates and institutionals, and operates across EMEA (Europe Middle East Africa), APAC (Asia Pacific) and the Americas. The bank is a global leader in Debt Capital Markets, Derivatives, is a top European house in Equity Capital Markets, has leading franchises in Specialized Financing and is a top five Securities Services House worldwide. BNP Paribas CIB strives to service the global economy by providing personalised solutions in risk management across all asset classes, financing (ECM, DCM, specialized financing…), financial advisory (M&A, project finance), flow banking (trade finance and cash management), global markets (interest rates, credit, foreign exchange, equity derivatives…), and securities services.

Press contacts: BNP Paribas Italy Media Relations +39 06.470271215-09

EKN - The Swedish Export Credit Guarantee Agency is a government agency that supports Swedish exports and the internationalization of Swedish industry. This we do by offering exporting companies and banks guarantees for payment and financing, together with advice on business structure and risk management. Our services provide you with greater security, increased competitiveness and more opportunities for successful export transactions.

MUFG  - Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is one of the world’s leading financial groups. Headquartered in Tokyo and with approximately 350 years of history, MUFG is a global network with around 2,300 offices in 50 countries. The Group has over 140,000 employees, offering services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing. The Group’s operating companies include Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (Japan’s leading trust bank), and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co., Ltd., one of Japan’s largest securities firms.

Through close partnerships among our operating companies, the Group aims to “be the world’s most trusted financial group”, flexibly responding to all of the financial needs of our customers, serving society, and fostering shared and sustainable growth for a better world. MUFG’s shares trade on the Tokyo, Nagoya, and New York (NYSE: MTU) stock exchanges.

National Grid plc is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world and was named Responsible Business of the Year 2014 by Business in the Community. We own and manage the grids that connect people to the energy they need, from whatever the source. In Britain and the north-eastern states of the US we run systems that deliver gas and electricity to millions of people, businesses and communities.

In Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country. In the North Eastern US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles.

Prysmian Group  is world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry. With almost 140 years of experience, sales of about €7.5 billion in 2015, over 19,000 employees across 50 countries and 88 plants, the Group is strongly positioned in high-tech markets and offers the widest possible range of products, services, technologies and know-how. It operates in the businesses of underground and submarine cables and systems for power transmission and distribution, of special cables for applications in many different industries and of medium and low voltage cables for the construction and infrastructure sectors. For the telecommunications industry, the Group manufactures cables and accessories for voice, video and data transmission, offering a comprehensive range of optical fibres, optical and copper cables and connectivity systems. Prysmian is a public company, listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in the FTSE MIB index.

SACE, a Cdp Group company, offers export credit, credit insurance, foreign investment protection services, financial guarantees, sureties and factoring. With operations worth €81 billion insured in 198 countries, SACE supports the competitiveness of Italian and foreign businesses, guaranteeing more stable cash flows and transforming risks into development opportunities.

SIMEST is the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group company supporting the internationalization of Italian companies. SACE owns 76% of the company, and other shareholders include leading Italian banks and industry associations. SIMEST supports Italian companies in all phases of their development abroad, providing soft loans to support internationalization, granting interest rate subsidies and acquiring equity interests”

SACE | Press Office tel. +39 06 6736888

SEK - AB Svensk Exportkredit provides finance for Swedish exports. We lend direct to Swedish exporters and we help Swedish exporters to win export business by offering financing to their customers. We have a strong international network and extensive experience of international financing. The officially supported export credits system means buyers of Swedish exports can see the total cost of their investment. Moreover, export credit financing can offer buyers extended credit periods. SEK is a long-term partner, we are wholly owned by the Swedish government and have a public mission to promote Swedish exports through financing. In our environmental and social due diligence, we comply with international standards. In 2015, SEK lent a total of Skr 104.6 billion.