Project ID: 58433

China Eximbank reschedules loan for Phase 1 of the Agadem Oil Project via interest rate reduction (linked to #73319, #58435, #31046, #31049, #2137)

Not recommended for aggregates

This project is not recommended for use in creating aggregated sums. See the documentation for more information about this criteria.


Funding agency [Type]

Export-Import Bank of China [State-owned Policy Bank]




Energy (Code: 230)

Flow type

Debt rescheduling





Mixed (The next section lists the possible statuses.)





Financial Flow Classification

OOF-like (The next section lists the possible statuses.)

Official Development Assistance

Other Official Flows

Vague (Official Finance)

Flows categorized based on OECD-DAC guidelines

Project lifecycle


Pipeline: Pledge (The next section lists the possible statuses.)








Commitment year




In 2008, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) established a joint venture the Government of Niger called Société de Raffinage de Zinder (SORAZ) to process oil from CNPC’s Agadem block in Niger (see Project ID#2137). CNPC holds a 60% ownership stake and the Government of Niger holds a 40% ownership take in SORAZ.To finance Phase 1 of the Agadem Oil Project, CNPC borrowed $880 million from China Eximbank in 2008 on the following terms: an interest rate of 6-month LIBOR plus 350 basis points, a maturity of 11 years, and a 1 year grace period (See: (See: NIGER SECOND AND THIRD REVIEWS UNDER THE EXTENDED CREDIT FACILITY ARRANGEMENT AND REQUESTS FOR WAIVERS OF NONOBSERVANCE OF PERFORMANCE CRITERIA AND FOR EXTENSION OF THE PROGRAM PERIOD AND ARRANGEMENT, REPHASING OF DISBURSEMENTS, AND MODIFICATION OF PERFORMANCE CRITERIA—STAFF REPORT; PRESS RELEASE; AND STATEMENT BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR NIGER). CNPC then used the proceeds of this loan to on-lend to Société de Raffinage de Zinder (SORAZ). The Government of Niger provided a public guarantee for its 40 percent share of the SORAZ loan (equivalent to $352 million) (See: Niger Joint IMF/IDA Debt Sustainability Analysis Update). This project captures the 2011 rescheduling of the loan for Phase 1 of the Agadem Oil Project. China Eximbank reduced the interest rate from 6-month LIBOR plus 350 basis points (approximately 6.56% in the year that the loan was contracted) to 6-month LIBOR plus 304 basis points.Phase 1 of this project involved the construction of the Soraz oil refinery in the village and rural commune of Ollelewa within Tanout Department and Zinder Region. The refinery was designed to have a 20,000 barrel-per-day production capacity and to be fed entirely by oil from the newly-launched Agadem oilfield a further 700 km east. The refinery draws crude from three Agadem wells with reserves totaling 480 million barrels. Phase 1 of this project was implemented by CNPC and the refinery was officially inaugurated on 28 November, 2011 (See: LE PRESIDENT DE LA REPUBLIQUE PROCEDE AU LANCEMENT DES ACTIVITES DE LA RAFFINERIE DE ZINDER : LE NIGER DANS LE CERCLE DES PAYS PRODUCTEURS DU PETROLE).Also, in November 2011, the Nigerien Government commissioned the first of several audits of the upstream and downstream costs of the project. These audits, according to the IMF, revealed “inflated and undocumented costs” in the case of the oil fields, and “reasonable costs but significant space to improve efficiency” for the SORAZ refinery. The Nigerien authorities also kept the price of gasoline in Niger artificially low, which hurt the refinery’s bottom line. An IMF report concluded that the “audit findings [were] critical to give leverage to the Nigerien authorities in the negotiations for the refinancing of the $880 million SORAZ loan, an essential step to ensuring the viability of the refinery' (See: Debt Relief with Chinese Characteristics).Then, in July 2012, the Nigerien authorities announced that China Eximbank had again agreed to reschedule the loan by ensuring that “the interest rate will not exceed 2 percent” (See: Niger renegotiates terms of $980 mln Chinese refinery loan). However, according to SAIS-CARI, despite this announcement and the leverage provided by the audit report, the refinancing plan still had to be approved in Beijing. CNPC still needed to get the approval of China Eximbank, and this reportedly did not happen.Then, in February 2017, an IMF report noted that “negotiations [for the refinancing] have stalled over the last two years” but that SORAZ now appeared able to service the debt “normally”. Of the $352 million share guaranteed by the Nigerien government, $161 million was still included in the debt stock as of 2018, one year before the loan was due to reach maturity. Then, in 2018, the China Eximbank reportedly agreed to reschedule the loan through a maturity extension from 2019 to 2023.Phase 1 of this project is captured in Project ID#73319. Phase 2 of this project, which involves the construction of a pipeline to export crude oil to foreign markets, is captured in Project ID#58435. ProjectID#31046 captures CNPC's investment in roads in the Diffa Region via this petroleum sharing contract arrangement. Financing from the master credit facility captured in linked ProjectID#31049 was reportedly also used for this refinancing.

Additional details

The interest rate that applied to this loan (6.56%) when it was first contracted was calculated by taking the average 6-month LIBOR rate during the year (2008) when it was finalized (3.060%) and adding a 3.5% margin. The interest rate that applied to the rescheduled loan (4.07%) was calculated by taking the average 6-month LIBOR rate during the year (2011) when the loan agreement was rescheduled (0.507%) and adding a 3.5% margin.In the database of Chinese loan commitments that SAIS-CARI released in July 2020, it identifies the face value of this loan as $352 million (which is equivalent to the implied debt obligation of the Nigerien Government since it holds a 40% ownership stake in SORAZ. AidData records the full face value of the loan and leaves it to users to decide if they are interested in capturing the full loan amount (or the implied debt obligation of the Nigerien Government).The progress of China Eximbank's rescheduling is unclear; therefore, this project has been status-coded as a pledge for the time being.

Number of official sources


Number of unofficial sources


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Receiving agencies [Type]

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) [State-owned Company]; Société de Raffinage de Zinder (SORAZ) [Joint Venture/Special Purpose Vehicle]

Implementing agencies [Type]

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) [State-owned Company]; Société de Raffinage de Zinder (SORAZ) [Joint Venture/Special Purpose Vehicle]

Loan type

No Information

Gurarantee provided


Insurance provided