The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a leading pan-African multilateral development finance institution and project developer, announces it is to provide a US$28 million subordinated loan facility for the development of Topic SA’s (Topic) Halk El Menzel offshore oil concession block (The Helm Project) in Northern Tunisia. The Subordinated Loan Note has a 30 month tenor and will ensure the project reaches first oil production by January 2018.
Topic is a prominent independent energy company with a primary focus on oil and gas exploration and production, established in 2000 by the Tunisian energy conglomerate, the Toumi Group. Topic’s strong shareholder base include the International Finance Corporation, Sarost Group, Banque de L’Habitat Group, Société Tunisienne de Banque, and the Toumi Group.
Commenting on the investment, Andrew Alli, President & CEO, AFC said: “AFC has a long-standing commitment to building and developing African economies that require investment in key economic sectors. AFC is delighted to be investing in Tunisia’s natural resources sector and supporting the creation of high skilled jobs.
“Tunisia has made significant progress by embarking on reforms that will drive private-sector growth and encourage investment. AFC looks forward to continuing to support the country as it enters the next growth chapter.”
The Helm Project is a low cost development capex project covering an offshore area of 570 square km in the gulf of Hammamet in northern Tunisia, a significant petroleum province. The total estimated project cost is US$157.5 million. The funding required to achieve first oil will be used for transport, installation, start up and commissioning, first well drilling, including acquisition of critical production installations, floating storage and offloading units; repair, upgrade of the existing buoy, supply of topside facilities and completion of a wellhead platform.
AFC, established to provide project structuring expertise and risk capital, has a long standing history of investing in Africa’s natural resources. Despite the industry challenges faced in the last few years, AFC remains an active investor, with recent landmark investments recorded. AFC’s investment in the natural resources sector is based on a long-term view and as such, the Corporation continues to seek investments in high quality projects, such as the Helm project with strong technical and commercial fundamentals,
The AFC is a dynamic, international investment grade multilateral finance institution whose mission it is to help bridge Africa’s significant infrastructure gap whilst delivering competitive financial returns, robust economic growth and positive social impact.
Established in 2007 to be the catalyst for private sector infrastructure investment across Africa, AFC is now one of the highest investment grade rated multilateral financial institutions in Africa with an A3/P2 (Stable outlook) rating from Moody’s Investors Service. A successful borrowing programme has raised more than US$3.5 billion for AFC’s activities, including the Corporation’s debut US$750 million Eurobond issue which was over 6 times oversubscribed. In terms of impact, AFC has invested more than US$ 4 billion in projects across 28 African countries to date.
AFC’s investment approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development and risk capital tailored to addressing Africa’s unique infrastructure development needs in the core sectors of power, natural resources
Topic is an independent Tunisian energy Company, with a primary focus on oil and gas exploration and production. Incorporated in 2000, TOPIC is founded by the Tunisian Toumi Group and two professionals: Mr. Mongi Ellouze and Mr. Abdelmajid Kacem. The Main activities of Topic are the acquisition of interests in licenses for the exploration and production of energy assets, their development, and their exploitation.