Developer announces £181m bond financing for UK first project

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Pensana Plc, last week announced that preparation works had begun at the Saltend Chemicals Park in Hull to develop a £90m rare earth processing hub.

The company has now confirmed that it has engaged ABG Sundal Collier (ABGSC), a leading Nordic investment bank headquartered in Oslo, Norway, to progress the debt financing of the site.

ABGSC has an extensive track record in the Nordic high yield market and broad natural resources sector as well as extensive capabilities in negotiating intercreditor terms with government agencies.

The debt facilities under discussion comprise a senior secured first lien facility of up to £181m over a five year term. with ABGSC expected to be in a position to target bond issuance during Q4 of this year, once site preparation works have been completed.

The landmark project in Hull aims to build the world’s first sustainable rare earth separation facility with a target production of around 12,500 annualised tonnes of rare earth oxides, including 4,500 tonnes of magnet metal rare earth oxides which would represent approximately 5% of 2025 projected world demand.

Pensana chairman Paul Atherley said: “We continue to work closely with the UK Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund on support for the world-class Saltend rare earth processing hub.

“Saltend will be the first major rare earth separation facility to be developed in over a decade and will be the first to be located in a Freeport. The facility will process feedstock from the Company’s Longonjo project and from other sources around the world, producing the magnet metal oxides critical for the EV and offshore wind turbine supply chains.”

The scheme will create over 100 high value jobs once complete and a further 500 jobs during the construction phase.