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□ The Export-Import Bank of Korea (www.koreaexim.go.kr, Chairman Yoon Hee-sung, “Korea Eximbank") announced that it would provide project financing* totaling US$ 1 billion for Samsung Engineering Co.‘s construction of ethylene cracker facilities in Qatar, on September 26.
* PF(Project Finance): While Corporate Finance provides loans based on the credit of borrowing companies, Project Finance focuses on cash flow as the primary source of repayment. It is secured on project assets and rights.
□ This project marks the largest petrochemical project implemented by QatarEnergy*, a state-owned energy company, in 10 years, with total project costs reaching US$7.3 billion.
* It is a state-run petroleum gas company owned by the Qatar government managing the overall operations of the energy business.
ㅇ As the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Qatar is promoting investments in the petrochemical industry to diversify its national industrial structure, currently more focused on natural gas.
□ Samsung Engineering, in a consortium with Taiwan’s CTCI Corp. was awarded the ethylene production facility package for US$ 2.5 billion, which is commonly referred to as the ‘rice of petrochemicals,’ in January 2023.
ㅇ Samsung Engineering’s share in the project accounts for approximately US$ 1.3 billion, and around forty small- and medium-sized companies from Korea are expected to participate in the project alongside Samsung Engineering.
□ Korea Eximbank has maintained a favorable relationship with QatarEnergy since its provision of support for the Qatar Barzan Gas Processing Project* in 2011. The Bank expressed its intention to offer financial support for the project from the initial bidding stages. This approach has contributed to Korean companies winning large-scale projects in the Middle East, including this case.
* Qatar Barzan Gas Processing Project: The project aims to process natural gas from the North Field in Qatar and produce electric generator fuel and petrochemical products.
□ A Korea Eximbank official said, “We anticipate that this financial support will further strengthen our economic cooperative relationship with the Qatar government and QatarEnergy.”
ㅇThe official continued, “Korea Eximbank will offer all-out support to contribute to the national policy goal of ‘receiving US$ 50 billion construction orders overseas annually and positioning Korea as one of the top four competent countries in the sector by 2027.’”
□ Korea Eximbank has so far extended approximately US$ 160 billion for projects in the Middle East, including US$ 39.7 billion to Saudi Arabia, US$ 35.4 billion to the UAE, and US$ 13 billion to Qatar. Furthermore, it has signed F/A(Framework Agreement)* with both Aramco of Saudi Arabia (US$6 billion) and ADNOC of the UAE (US$5 billion).
* Framework Agreement: An agreement between a lender and a foreign entity placing orders with Korean companies. Its purpose is to ly provide and secure financial support for individual transactions arising from project orders that Korean companies receive and their joint investments. To this end, financial conditions are formulated in the agreement in advance, such as loan amount and support procedures between a lending institution and a foreign entity placing orders.
□ Korea Eximbank aims to actively support Korean companies to participate in eco-friendly energy projects in the Middle East, such as smart cities, green hydrogen, ammonia, etc.