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Emirates Aluminium Said to Seek $4 Billion for Expansion

Emirates Aluminium Co., the company building the world’s biggest aluminum smelter in the United Arab Emirates, is seeking to raise $4 billion from loans and bonds to finance expansion, a banker familiar with the plan said.

The Abu Dhabi-based company also known as Emal aims to raise $500 million in loans from four export-credit agencies, between $2 billion and $2.5 billion from commercial-bank loans and the remainder by selling bonds, according to the banker, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The amortizing bank loans, to be repaid over 15.5 years, may be both conventional and Islamic, although their relative proportions have yet to be finalized, the banker said.

A spokeswoman for Emal, a venture between Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co. and Dubai Aluminium Co., wasn’t able to comment when contacted by phone today. Banks were sent requests for proposals last week and have until Sept. 28 to bid, the banker said. The fundraising for the $4.58 billion expansion will be completed this year, the banker said.

Abu Dhabi, holder of about 7 percent of the world’s oil reserves, is using its oil wealth to diversify its economy, including investments in metals and real estate. Borrowers in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have raised $28.1 billion from bond sales so far this year, more than double the level at the same time in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Emal’s debt will finance the company’s Phase II expansion, which aims to increase annual output to 1.3 million metric tons by June 2015, the banker said. The smelter units already producing are set to reach a capacity of 800,000 tons of aluminum annually later this year.

State-owned Qatar Petroleum late last year raised $3.34 billion from bank loans to fund its Barzan natural-gas project. The 16-year loan pays average interest of 2.19 percentage points over the London Interbank Offered Rate, it said in December.

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