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Baker Botts Advises The Government of Afghanistan on Gas to Power Project

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DUBAI, 1 September 2016 - Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, today announced that it has successfully advised the Government of Afghanistan on long-term planning for a public-private partnership for a major gas to power project to support rebuilding of the Afghan natural gas sector. The work was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The fully developed value of the project could be as much as $US600m. 

Afghanistan was formerly a gas exporter. Studies over the past several years indicate that it may have significant as yet undiscovered gas reserves. USAID’s Sheberghan Gas Development Project (SGDP) has focused on supporting the gas sector for production of electricity for the country. 

Advanced Engineering Associates International (AEAI) engaged Baker Botts’ Global Projects Practice to advise on the legal and contractual structure of this public-private partnership to construct and operate a commercial natural gas gathering and processing facility to serve several gas fields in northern Afghanistan. 

“This is the first project that AEAI has done with Baker Botts acting as external advisors to the Afghanistan Government. Their team demonstrated exceptional insight into international energy sector public-private partnerships. We are pleased with the results,” said Stroud C. Kelley, J.D. AEAI’s chief of party in Kabul. AEAI was the implementing partner for USAID for the SGDP. 

AEAI is a global engineering, energy and environmental services company founded in Massachusetts (USA) in 1986. The company provides experts, advisors and trainers for US and overseas assignments in the energy sector funded by the U.S. Government and multilateral aid agencies. To date, more than 45 developing and emerging market countries have worked with AEAI around the globe. 

“AEAI is a globally renowned energy infrastructure and energy efficiency expert and we look forward to working with them again in the future. The Afghan Government has advised us that the recommendation and draft Project documents we submitted may be used to issue a tender for the development of the Project, once favorable commercial conditions are met. Our team will be monitoring the outcome with great interest,” added Sofia Sattarova, a Dubai based partner with Baker Botts. 

The Baker Botts advisory team prepared an analysis and recommendation on the structuring between the Government of the Afghanistan and a private investor for the project. This included draft submissions of project documents, including the RFP, Project Development Agreement, Shareholders’ Agreement, Tolling Agreement Term Sheet and Asset Transfer Agreement Term Sheet. The team presented the recommended structure to Afghan Government officials from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, and to USAID, World Bank and Asian Development Bank officials, on 25 July 2016.

Baker Botts team led by partner Sofia Sattarova (Partner, Dubai) comprised of Robin Mizrahi (Partner, London), Michael E. Arruda (Partner, Hong Kong), Stephen Matthews (Partner, Dubai), Laure Cochet (Associate, Hong Kong) and Wicki Andersen (Associate, Dubai). The AEAI team comprised of Mr. Kelley, Naihmatullah Kohsar, Randolph Bruton, J.D., and Wayne Register. 

 

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