GDF Suez mulls selling Abu Dhabi stake
Abu Dhabi, March 31, 2009
French utility GDF Suez is in talks to sell at least 20 percent of its stake in an Abu Dhabi water and power project to Japan's Marubeni Corp, a senior company official told Reuters on Tuesday.
"We are talking with Marubeni," Shankar Krishnamoorthy, GDF Suez's chief executive for the Middle East and North Africa, said. "Hopefully, we will have them as a partner."
GDF Suez is currently the sole developer of the Shuweihat 2 project, due to be completed in 2011 and comprising a 1,500 megawatt natural gas-fired power station and a 454,610 cu m a day desalination plant.
Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (Adwea) owns 60 percent of the project, while GDF Suez has a 40 percent share.
Marubeni would take at least 20 percent of GDF Suez's 40 percent stake, Krishnamoorthy said, but declined to give further details.
"We are in discussions with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). They require us to have a Japanese partner who will come with 20 percent," Krishnamoorthy said at a conference organised by weekly economic magazine Meed.
JBIC is among international banks arranging $2 billion financing for the project, he said. - Reuters