RBS Said Hired to Arrange Finance for $6.5 Billion Qatar Plant

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was hired to arrange financing for a $6.5 billion petrochemical plant in Qatar, four people with knowledge of the plan said.

The U.K.’s largest government-controlled bank will advise on sourcing and structuring funding for the Al Karaana complex, built by state-run Qatar Petroleum in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the people said, asking not to be named because the appointment is confidential.

Al Karaana, composed of a so-called steam cracker and mono-ethylene glycol plant, is the first of two such petrochemical complexes planned for the Qatari industrial city of Ras Laffan as the country seeks to diversify from oil and gas exports, which make up more than half the economy. Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Petrochemical Co. signed an agreement in 2012 to build a second petrochemical complex near Al Karaana.

Qatar Petroleum’s Director of Finance, Abdulrahman Ahmad Al-Shaibi, said Feb. 28 that a project finance consultant was about to be hired for Al Karaana. He didn’t identify the banks being considered. Banks and export credit agencies will be an important source of credit for the plant, Al-Shaibi said. Qatar is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

Nicole Hayde, an RBS spokeswoman in Dubai, declined to comment by e-mail. A Qatar Petroleum official in the company’s public relations department didn’t respond to a phone message.

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