Julian Nichol is a member of the firm’s global project finance group. Mr. Nichol’s practice focuses on the acquisition, disposal, development and financing of independent power generation projects and electricity transmission and distribution assets, as well as advising on reserve-based financings for upstream oil and gas companies.
Practice & Background
Over the past 20 years, Mr. Nichol has worked on more than 30 power generation projects encompassing gas, coal, oil, hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, waste-to-energy and biomass technologies. He also advises clients on transmission and distribution projects, including the range of services to grid required as a result of the increasing role played by renewable technologies in the power generation mix. Julian’s clients include developers, funds, lenders and governments, and much of his recent work has been in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Julian has particular experience in complex DFI-funded power projects and has worked on projects involving the IFC, AfDB, EBRD, EIB, OPIC, Proparco, BDEAC, FMO, DEG, Swedfund and EAIF, among others.
Julian’s recent work includes advising the sponsors on the development and financing of the Kribi and Dibamba power projects in Cameroon (Cameroon’s first IPPs), advising a major private equity house on its acquisition of a majority stake in the 450MW Azura Edo power project in Nigeria, and advising as project counsel on the development and financing of the 52.5MW Shams Ma’an Solar PV Project in Jordan financed by JBIC with a NEXI support package.
Most of Julian’s work is in the energy sector, with an emphasis on renewable and conventional power projects and reserve-base lending for upstream oil and gas companies. He has worked on projects across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United Kingdom.
The U.K. edition of the Legal 500 2017 identifies Julian as a leading projects lawyer and states, “... Julian Nichol is a very knowledgeable team head who is great to work with….” The 2018 edition IFLR comments, “Julian Nichol [is] a brilliant lawyer with a great understanding of the African Renewable energy sector….”
Mr. Nichol’s experience includes advising:
- Actis on its acquisition of a majority stake in the groundbreaking 450MW Azura-Edo IPP, Nigeria
- AES Corp. on the development and financing of the Kribi and Dibamba IPPs, with finance provided by the following development banks: IFC, AFDB, EBRD, PROPARCO, BDEAC and FMO, Cameroon
- AES Sonel on its financing arrangements, relating principally to the development of Kribi and Dibamba IPPs, Cameroon
- ENEL and ACS on their bid for the Ouarzazate combined solar thermal and PV solar facility, Morocco
- International Power plc on its participation in the proposed 1,200MW Mmamabula coal-fired power and integrated coal mine project, South Africa and Botswana
- a sponsor on the proposed 500MW Corbetti Geothermal project, Ethiopia
- a sponsor on a proposed 60MW biomass project, using eucalyptus as a biomass fuel, Ghana
- a sponsor on various renewable energy projects, including a wind farm participating in the REFIT Tender program, South Africa
- a commercial lender on a $30 million mezzanine loan to a renewable energy developer, Cameroon
- a sponsor on the acquisition of the Jorf Lasfar IPP, Morocco
- Union de Banques Arabes et Francaises on a pre-export financing for a transmission line project, Egypt
- InterGen on the sale of an equity stake in the Sidi Krir IPP, Egypt.
- Diamond Wind Europe and Nebras on the 52.5MW Shams Ma’an PV project, with financing provided by JBIC and commercial banks, Jordan
- sponsors on the 10 MW Arabia One PV Project, with financing provided by IFC and FinnFund, Jordan
- a bidder in connection with the Fadhili IPP, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- a bidder in connection with the Riyadh IPP (PP11), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- International Power and Saudi Oger on the four Tihama “within the fence” co-generation projects located at Juaymah, Ras Tanura, Shedgum and Uthmaniyah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- international commercial lenders and Islamic lenders on the $650 million Ras Abu Fontas A1 and A2 Water Desalination Projects, Qatar
- International Power plc, Chubu and QEWC in relation to the development of a 1,024MW gas-fired power plant (Ras Laffan B) at Ras Laffan, Qatar
- commercial lenders and JBIC in relation to the $2.3 billion Al Hidd IWPP, Bahrain
- Taqa on its acquisition of the non-U.S. power generation portfolio of CMS Energy Ltd, U.A.E.
- International Power on the $2.2 billion acquisition of the global power portfolio of Edison Mission Energy
- Government of Oman on the aborted Duqm coal-fired IPP, Oman.
- a sponsor on the development and financing of a 25MW waste-to-energy plant, U.K.
- Carbon Trust Enterprises Limited on a £500 million renewable energy portfolio project with HSBC Infrastructure Fund, U.K.
- a potential purchaser on the acquisition of UK Power Reserve Ltd, U.K.
- a sovereign wealth fund on the potential acquisition of a portfolio of power generation assets in the U.K., Europe and Asia
- CK Infrastructure Holdings on the acquisition of the 1,145MW gas-fired Seabank power plant, U.K.
- Viridor Waste Management on the South London Waste Management PPP, U.K.
- Surrey County Council on the Surrey Waste Management PPP, U.K.
- International Power in relation to its $2.2 billion acquisition of the global power portfolio of Edison Mission Energy, including First Hydro in the U.K.
- Rocksavage Power Company, Ltd on the debt restructuring (including a finance lease) of the 750MW Rocksavage Power Project in Cheshire, U.K.
- A steering committee (led by Bank of America) on the debt restructuring of the 1,000MW Killingholme Power Project in Humberside, U.K.
- commercial lenders in respect of Edison Mission Energy's bid for Ferrybridge and Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power stations (4,000MW combined), U.K.
- IVO Energy Limited on its acquisition and subsequent EIB refinancing of the Brigg power station, U.K.
- InterGen on the development and financing of the Coryton IPP, Essex, U.K.
- InterGen on the energy tolling agreement for the Spalding Power Project in Lincolnshire, U.K.
- InterGen on a sale of an equity stake in the Spalding Power Project, Lincolnshire, U.K.
- Southern Energy on its disposal of a development-stage power project, U.K.
- Derwent Co-generation, Ltd on a regulatory dispute under the Balancing and Settlement Code, U.K.
- Derwent Co-generation, Ltd on CfD fuel supply and steam supply agreements, U.K.
- Advanced Power in connection with its sale of the T-Power IPP to International Power, Belgium
- Morgan Stanley and Endesa in relation to a pan-European energy trading joint venture
- InterGen on the development of a 1,000MW power project in Spain
- Lenders in relation to the development and financing of the Ujpest 110MW CHP facility in Hungary
- a bidder on the aborted acquisition of the Doga IPP, Turkey.
- Petrobras in relation to its participation in the Ibirité gas-fired thermoelectric project in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil
- CPFL in relation to its participation in the Carioba gas-fired thermoelectric project in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Petrobras in relation to its participation in the Cubatão gas-fired thermoelectric project in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil
- a shareholder and fuel supplier in relation to a heavy oil-fired power project in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil
- Petrobras in relation to its participation in the UEG Araucaria gas-fired thermoelectric project in Parana, Brazil.
Oil and Gas
- Challenger Financial Services Infrastructure Fund in relation to the acquisition of the Inexus Independent gas transporter company, U.K.
- Warburg Pincus in relation to the acquisition of a stake in Acorn Oil's North Sea oil business, U.K.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch on a capital raising by Petroceltic, an independent oil and gas company with E&P interests in Algeria and Italy
- ExxonMobil UK Ltd on a series of farm-ins and farm-outs in the U.K. North Sea
- a super-major oil and gas company on its divided rights regime in the U.K.
- Bord Gais Eireann in relation to a Gas Transportation Agreement, Ireland
- Wintershall on the establishment of a gas trading platform, U.K.
- Range Resources in connection with its potential disposal of an oil and gas business in the CIS.
Middle East and Africa
- Pico International Petroleum on its $330 million borrowing-base financed acquisition of the Geisum and Tawila oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Suez (Egypt’s first oil and gas field privatization), Egypt
- Cheiron Corporation (a subsidiary of Pico International Petroleum) on its $250 million borrowing-base financing for its E&P activities in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt
- Citadel Capital on its $850 million acquisition and borrowing-base refinancing of Rally Energy Corp., Egypt, Pakistan and Canada
- a hedge fund on a reserve-base mezzanine loan to an international oil and gas company for the purpose of funding an exploration and development program, Egypt
- Citadel Capital on the restructuring of NOPC, one of its portfolio oil and gas businesses, Egypt
- Egyptian oil and gas company on the termination of its operating arrangements in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt
- Egyptian oil and gas company on two loan agreements with BVI security, Egypt
- an Egyptian oil and gas company on a bid for an FTSE-listed international oil and gas E&P company, Egypt and the U.K.
- Bahrain National Gas Company on a bid to buy an LPG trading business, Bahrain and the U.K.
- the project company on the early stages of the development and financing of an aborted $1.8 billion petrochemicals project, Saudi Arabia
- global integrated oilfield services company in its acquisition of a Saudi Arabian oilfield services company, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- two bank groups financing bids for oil mining licences being sold by a consortium led by Shell, Nigeria
- an E&P company on the disposal of its stake in the Offshore Cape Three Points E&P project, Ghana
- an oil and gas company in connection with a bulk liquids storage project in Ghana
- Sasol on the farm-out of an interest in an oil and gas field, Mozambique
- Macquarie Bank on the provision of a mezzanine loan facility to Bowleven plc in respect of its E&P operations in Cameroon
- Shell in relation to ongoing issues in the Nigeria LNG Project, Nigeria
- SNC-Lavalin in connection with the $7 billion Ambatovy mining project involving AFDB, EIB, EDC, KEXIM and JBIC.
- Macquarie Bank on a $200 million reserve-based loan to an E&P company with assets in multiple jurisdictions in South America
- sponsors on the Rio Polimeros petrochemicals project involving SACE, BNDES and USEXIM, Brazil
- Argentinian oil and gas company in relation to the disposal of two oil fields and a pipeline in Ecuador
- Range Resources on a potential reserve-base loan financing to support its E&P activities, Trinidad.
- Madneuli Copper in relation to a $20 million mezzanine loan facility, CIS
- Deutsche Bank AG in relation to a $100 million loan to Palabora Mining Company, Limited, South Africa
- Anglo American plc in relation to a potential acquisition of a coal mining company in Mozambique.
- K. government in relation to a defense-training PPP, U.K.
- Samcrete Holdings in connection with the development of a retail park project in Egypt