BW Offshore Limited (BWO) has signed a cooperation agreement with world-leading financial leasing firm ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. (ICBCL) with the intention to establish a long-term strategic partnership to jointly pursue large international infrastructure projects with a focus on FPSOs.
The two companies intend to offer cost effective production solutions for the global oil and gas industry, leveraging ICBCL's leading position as an arranger of financing to the offshore sector and BWO's expertise in designing, developing and operating FPSOs. ICBCL is a global leasing firm with USD 44 billion in total assets and part of the world's largest financial group, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Ltd. (ICBC).
"We are very pleased to enter into this strategic cooperation with ICBCL, a world-leading financial institution, and to strengthen our ties with China. A strong financial partner enables BW Offshore to address new growth opportunities," said Andreas Sohmen-Pao, the Chairman of the Board of BWO.
BWO and ICBCL will proceed with further detailed discussions with the aim to establish a project consortium framework, and identify other potential strategic cooperation opportunities. The intention is to explore and develop mutually beneficial FPSO and FPSO related projects globally in the interest of both companies and local Chinese-invested enterprises, and to build a platform for promoting Norwegian and Chinese cooperation on the international arena.
The first joint project as part of the cooperation agreement, subject to both parties' final approval, is ICBCL's equity participation in the BW Catcher FPSO through the subscription of preference shares. The FPSO, a USD 1.2 billion investment, will operate on the Catcher field in the UK North Sea with start-up towards the end of 2017.
The parties further agree to establish a cooperation to explore the Kudu-gas-to-power infrastructure project where BWO holds a 56% stake in the upstream license.
The cooperation agreement was signed by CEO Zhao Guicai representing ICBCL and CEO Carl K. Arnet representing BWO under a ceremony in Beijing, in association with the Norway China Business Summit 2017 attended by Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
"This partnership opens up for new models for developing FPSOs and FPSO related projects. The first cooperation project has already been identified and is announced today. We see attractive market opportunities where we, in partnership with ICBCL, can deliver cost effective solutions to our clients in the oil and gas sector", said Carl K. Arnet, the CEO of BWO.