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One Belt, One Road: Our experience

Pinsent Masons has advised on One Belt, One Road (OBOR) projects for 15 years, dating back to the early days of China's infrastructure investment initiative. 

As the only international law firm advising CHINCA, the China organisation of construction contractors, we have a unique perspective on the increasing sophistication of OBOR investment strategies. 

Our expertise and awards include: 

  • 350 specialist infrastructure lawyers across Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa
  • A network of more than 1,700 lawyers worldwide
  • Energy and Infrastructure Team of the Year and Law Firm of the Year at the 2016 Legal Business Award
  • Infrastructure Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2016 for One Belt, One Road project
  • Top tier ranking for Project and Energy (Legal 500)
  • Top tier ranking for construction (Legal 500 and Chambers)

We are sharing our experience through a new series of One Belt, One Road guides, designed to help you map your own investment routes. Read about our report series.  

OBOR case studies

These project summaries provide an overview of our work in PakistanDubaiSri LankaJordan and Zimbabwe and demonstrate the knowledge we bring to any OBOR development.

Thar II, Pakistan

Size/value: $700 million development of the Thar Block II coal mine, and the US$821 million financing of the associated 2 x 330 MW power station | Completed in 2015

Thar II was one of the first projects financed under China's Belt and Road initiative and the first of a planned US$46 billion of investments under China-Pakistan Economic Cooperation agreements.

We represented two companies:

  • the mining company, a joint venture between the government of Sindh, Engro Corporation, various Pakistan and Chinese strategic and financial investors and CMEC - China Machinery Engineering Corporation; and 
  • the power company, a joint venture between Engro, CMEC and a financial investor.

Following the financial close of the project in early 2016, Thar II is recognised as the first OBOR project to have reached this milestone.   

Dubai imported coal fired power projects

Size/value: USD3.4bn | Ongoing

We are advising the Silk Road Fund on proposed investment into an imported coal fired power project in the Middle East. We previously assisted a client on the bidding for the project including review and mark ups of the Power Purchase Agreement and other project documents, negotiation of coal supply and financing arrangements.

Our current engagement relates to advice on the investment agreements into the project company as well as advising on the project documents and financing arrangements.

Port City Project in Sri Lanka

Size/value: USD1.5 billion | Ongoing

We are acting for China Harbour Engineering Company Limited in the biggest overseas investment of the company to date and the largest foreign investment project in the history of Sri Lanka. The project includes land reclamation of nearly 280 hectares. 

We provide a comprehensive legal service to China Harbour including concession agreement, project finance and negotiation with the Sri Lankan government. The recycling cost after land development is about USD600 million. 

Oil and shale mine, Jordan

Size/value: USD1.5 billion | Signed 2016

We are advising Yudean Group on its acquisition of a joint control stake in Attarat Power Company, which is developing an oil shale mine and associate power project in Jordan.

Our work includes carrying out due diligence on the Government project documents, advising on the Financing Agreements with Sinosure and Chinese commercial banks and advising on the share purchase agreement and the shareholders agreement.

Zimbabwe coal fired power projects

Size/value: USD1.3 billion |  Ongoing

We are advising a Chinese client on the development of a coal-fired power project in Zimbabwe. At 600MW net it will be the largest power station in the country, augmenting the current electricity supply network with around 35% of additional generation capacity. The project also involves a significant electricity grid upgrade and expansion.

Our work includes carrying out due diligence on the Zimbabwe legal and regulatory environment, negotiation of the joint venture with the Zimbabwean power utility and negotiation of all required contracts including the on lending of the sovereign loan from the Chinese Government to the Zimbabwean Government. 

Next steps

To learn more about OBOR's reach and opportunities, sign up for our report series or contact us by email

Key Contacts