Projects and energy: local firms in South Korea

Kim & Chang

Kim & Chang has a first-rate reputation in energy, infrastructure and natural resources projects. It acts for private sector sponsors, strategic and financial investors, state-owned entities, construction and engineering firms, as well as lenders. Project finance is one of the core areas of expertise for the group, which is strong in all aspects of conventional and renewable power, oil and gas, natural resource extraction and infrastructure projects. Ick-Ryol Huh co-heads the practice with Yon-Kyun Oh, who has developed particular expertise in advising on M&A matters in the energy sector. Claire (Mi-Jin) Kim and Young-Kyun Cho are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Yon-Kyun Oh; Ick-Ryol Huh

Key clients

POSCO Energy / POSCO

GS Holdings / GS Energy /GS Donghae Electric Power Co., Ltd.

KEXIM (Korea Export-Import Bank)

S-Oil Corporation

KOGAS (Korea Gas Corporation)

Hanwha Energy

KDB (Korea Development Bank)

KHNP (Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation)

KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation)

ST International

Work highlights

  • Advising the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation on the arrangement of approximately $1.8bn of project financing for the Rovuma LNG Trains Project in Mozambique.
  • Advising Shell Eastern Petroleum on its joint venture, which involves converting carbon credits outside Korea into Korean credits, and trading them.  
  • Assisting Hanwha Energy with the development, construction, operation, and maintenance of a 100MW battery energy storage system located in Ireland.

Lee & Ko

Lee & Ko's team acts on the majority of large domestic and foreign energy and infrastructure projects involving a Korean sponsor or lender.  Practice head Dong Eun Kim leads on a wide range of inbound and outbound transactions related to social overhead capital, energy and real estate development, construction, operation, financing and investment. Project finance specialist Hun Ko has a particular focus on PPI projects, such as toll roads, railways, ports and power plants. Renewable energy finance is an area of expertise for Tom Shin . Also recommended is Hyunsu Kim, who advises major domestic banks and other financial investors on infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Dong Eun Kim; Tom Shin; Hun Ko

Other key lawyers:

Hyunsu Kim

Key clients

Seoul Beltway Co., Ltd

Daesung Group Partners Co., Ltd.

Korea National Oil Corporation

Daelim Industrial Co., ltd

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power

Hyundai Rotem

Bloom Energy

Dealim Energy

Samsung Life Insurance

KEPCO

SK E&S

IGIS Asset Management Co., Ltd

Meritz Securities Co., Ltd

NH-Amundi Asset Management

NH Investment Securities

Mirae Asset Global Investments Co., Ltd

Mirae Asset Daewoo

KB Securities Co., Ltd.

Industrial Bank of Korea

Korea Development Bank

KDB Infrastructure Asset Management Co., Ltd

Shinhan Bank

Shinhan BNP Paribas

Hanwha Asset Management Co., Ltd

Samchully Asset Management Company

Macquarie Capital Korea Limited

Kookmin Bank

Samsung Securities

Hyundai Energy Private Equity Co., Ltd

Stonebridge Capital

FG Partners

Hangang Asset Management Co., Ltd.

EQ Partners

Hana Financial Investment

Samsung Asset Management Co., Ltd

KB Asset Management Company

Samtan

Equis Pte.

Work highlights

  • Advising NH Bank, Hana Financial institution, and NH-Amundi Asset Management on a senior debt investment of $600m into a 1,085MW natural gas-fired electric combined cycle power generation project located in the USA.
  • Assisting Kookmin Bank with its financing of the Gwangmyeong-Seoul Highway Private Participation Project.
  • Advising a consortium of Korean investors on the acquisition of 50% of the shares in the Utopia Pipeline, a 431 km pipeline connecting Ohio to Ontario.

Shin & Kim

The bulk of Shin & Kim's work involves handling transactions and projects for blue-chip clients in the energy and power, natural resources and infrastructure sectors. Alternative energy continues to be a core area of focus for the group, particularly in the context of complex offshore wind projects. The team's wide geographical reach covers matters relating to Korea, the US, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica and Vietnam, among others. The group, which is led by Sang Hyun Lee, also includes Seung-Gyu Yang, Hyun-Mi ChoMichael Chang and project finance specialist Hyunju Helen Pak. Dae Hyuk Choi and Dae Kun Jang made partner in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Sang Hyun Lee

Key clients

SK Energy

Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS)

Macquarie Capital

AES Corporation

POSCO Group (includes POSCO, the world’s fourth largest steelmaker and the centrepiece of the POSCO Group, POSCO Energy, and POSCO International)

SK E&S

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)

National Pension Service (NPS)

Korea National Oil Company (KNOC)

Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation (“KIND”)

Lotte Chemical Corporation

Korea Export Import Bank (KEXIM)

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure)

Work highlights

  • Advising the Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation on the construction and operation of the 73km San Jose Metropolitan Passenger Railway in Costa Rica.
  • Advising the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation on its financing of the Changfang wind power project.
  • Assisting the Korea National Oil Company with a joint venture to store and provide fuel for an LNG/LPG power plant to be established by SK in the City of Ulsan.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC's dedicated energy and infrastructure practice leverages the firm’s strengths in project development and finance, M&A, construction and PPP projects to guide clients through a wide spectrum of legal issues. Its expertise includes advising on commercial operations, transactions and disputes, both in and outside of Korea. Under the leadership of Seungkyo Lee, the team continues to strengthen its expertise in the renewable and alternative energy sector, and remains 'known for guiding Korean clients on international investments'. Hyunchul An is the name to note for inbound work; he assists foreign investors with matters ranging from their initial entry into the Korean market to the development and execution of projects. Chinpyo Park has particular expertise in domestic electricity and gas regulations.

Practice head(s):

Seungkyo Lee

Other key lawyers:

Hyunchul An; Chinpyo Park

Testimonials

BKL has an excellent client list for advising in relation to the Korean renewables sector.

The team is known for guiding Korean clients on international investments.

Hyunchul An is noted for his practical approach to advising clients.

Key clients

Hana Alternative Asset Management

Hanwha Energy

Hanwha Investment & Securities

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings

KB Kookmin Bank

Korea Development Institute

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)

Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure)

SK Engineering & Construction

Work highlights

  • Advised Hyundai Heavy Industries on the sale of a minority stake in Hyundai Oilbank to the Saudi Arabian Oil Company.
  • Advised Hanwha Energy on its acquisition of a solar power plant project from Macquarie Capital.
  • Assisted Hana Alternative Asset Management with its investment in a $280m term loan facility to finance a gas and coal power project in Texas.  

Yulchon

Yulchon's team is active in all areas of project development, including energy, infrastructure and real estate. It has particular expertise in assisting clients with the entire spectrum of issues involved in both greenfield and brownfield projects. Practice head Raymond M. Kang has extensive experience of advising domestic and international clients on all transactional, structuring, engineering, procurement, construction, operational and other commercial arrangements. Hong Kim frequently assists foreign clients with their investments in Korean renewable energy projects. Regulatory expert Yong Hee Yoon is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Raymond M. Kang

Other key lawyers:

Hong Kim; Yong Hee Yoon

Key clients

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)

Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC)

Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS)

Korea Western Power Co., Ltd.

Korea South East Power Co., Ltd.

Korea Midland Power Co., Ltd.

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power

GS Engineering & Construction Corp.

GS Power Co., Ltd.

POSCO

POSCO Engineering & Construction

Hyundai Oilbank

Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd.

POSCO International

Hanwha General Chemicals

SK Chemicals

BayWa r.e.

Mirae Asset

Asia Development Bank (ADB)

wpd AG

Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation

Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd.

Hanwha Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising a consortium of Korean developers and investors on a large-scale greenfield gas-fired combined cycle power plant development project in Myanmar.
  • Advising a European renewable energy company on a greenfield solar photovoltaic power plant development project in Korea.
  • Advising a Korean conglomerate company on a medium-scale greenfield gas-fired combined cycle power plant development project in Myanmar.

DR & AJU LLC

DR & AJU LLC's global energy and infrastructure group was transformed by the recent arrival of Mihyun Melissa Park from Norton Rose Fulbright to head up the practice. Park, who is qualified in both New York and Australia, has experience of advising both financiers and sponsors on all aspects of the development and financing of major infrastructure and energy projects. Renewable projects based in Australia are a particular speciality. Another key addition to the team was senior associate Hyunchul Noh, who was previously a senior legal counsel at investment company Synergy Partners, and has a strong track record of assisting with various financing matters.

Practice head(s):

Mihyun Melissa Park

Other key lawyers:

Hyunchul Noh

Key clients

Hana Financial Investment Co., Ltd.

Samchully Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Korea East West Power Co. Ltd.

Korea Western Power Co., Ltd.

Energy Infra Asset Management

Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure)

POSCO International

Korea Investment & Securities Co., Ltd.

NH-Amundi Asset Management

IBK Asset Management

Woori Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Hana Financial Investment, Korea Investment & Securities, NH-Amundi Asset Management, and IBK Asset Management on their acquisition of three major wind farms in Finland, and the refinancing of the project.
  • Advised Woori Bank on its sub-participation in the project financing of the West Connex Stage 3A project, an integrated transport scheme pursued by the Australian federal government and the New South Wales state government.
  • Advised Korea Western Power, Hana Financial Investment, and Energy Infra Asset Management on their bid to acquire a greenfield 300MW solar farm project in Rodds Bay, Australia.

Jipyong

Jipyong has had a major increase in the number of cross-border transactions it handles and it has participated in some of the largest outbound investments by Korean private companies and state-owned power generation companies in the USA and Europe. Cheol Jeong, who manages the firm’s foreign operations and global network, is noted for his expertise in joint ventures and complex infrastructure projects. Hye Jung Ryu's broad practice focuses on handling both transactions and disputes in the areas of overseas investment, resources, energy and construction, particularly in Russia and the Middle East. Yully Kang is a name to note for project finance advice.

Practice head(s):

Cheol Jeong

Other key lawyers:

Hye Jung Ryu; Yully Kang

Key clients

SK Chemicals

SK Gas Ltd.

SK Trading International Co., Ltd. and SK Energy Co., Ltd.

B.Grimm Power Korea Limited

A Korean affiliate of a large German energy development company

Samchully Asset Management

KB Securities

Sprott Korea

IBK Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advising SK Chemicals on the sale of its bioenergy business to Hahn & Company.
  • Assisting SK Gas with the sale of its 51% shareholding in Eumseong Natural Gas Power to Korea East-West Power, and the acquisition of a 34% shareholding in Ulsan GPS Corporation from Korea East-West Power and Korea Development Bank.
  • Advised SK Trading International and SK Energy on their subscription for new shares issued by the Maynmar-based Best Oil Company.