Graham Lyon, Executive Chairman at Moroccan gas explorer and developer Sound Energy (LSE:SOU) spoke to Donald Leggatt at London South East. In a detailed interview he told us that without the Bond restructuring it would have "made it very difficult to raise funding"' for the Phase 2 pipeline element of the project. "That major obstacle is now overcome and we hope we've balanced the needs of not just the Noteholders but the shareholders themselves" he added.
"I was able to meet up with ONHYM and Schlumberger and we have now commenced the FID process - there are several things which need to be in place before that's all complete, and I've also met the various partners that we are going to work with. The FID process will end up with 'a notice to proceed'."
Graham also announced Afriquia Gaz, a subsidiary of AKWA Group as the downstream gas offtaker helping to finance the Phase-1 Micro LNG deal. He said:
"We have made substantial progress in discussions, particularly over Easter. Afriquia Gaz is one of the major players in Gas and LNG distribution in Morocco and is confirmed as our business partner."
So why are AG a good partner?
"Afriquia Gaz have a large share of the Moroccan LPG market, they know the market, they are very strong financially and their major shareholder is one of the largest conglomerates in Morocco. The LNG market is new to Morocco and we can think of no better partner to penetrate the market with. They are in a strong position to provide their clients with LNG rather than LPG."
In summary, Graham told us: "We have commenced the FID process, established the market with our fully funded solution, and have already been looking at Phase 2, the pipeline, which is being worked on in parallel. We have had several offers for financing of the pipeline, including the people who undertook the feed study, and we've got a bit more to raise. As I said, we've got to do this in digestible bites."