US$525 million financing secured for 4G road project in Colombia

US$525 million financing secured for 4G road project in Colombia

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The Ministry of Transport of the government of Colombia and the national development bank Financiera de Desarollo Nacional (FDN) have announced that the Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó ​road project has reached financial close, having secured financing totalling COP1.68 trillion (US$527.4 million).

This includes COP280.9 billion (US$88.2 million) senior debt and a COP105 billion (US$33.0 million) liquidity line from FDN. Contributions to the financing package were also made by Bancolombia, BBVA and debt funds managed by BlackRockCredicorp Capital and Sura Asset Management.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is providing COP260.9 billion (US$81.9 million) to the project - 15.5% of the total debt - via a funding line to FDN. Thus, counting direct and indirect participation, FDN is providing 32.3% of the total project financing.

The Bucaramanga-Barrancabermeja-Yondó ​road, also known as the Ruta del Cacao, will span a total of 189.04km upon completion. 80.84km of new road is to be constructed and 108.20km of existing road is to be improved and rehabilitated. The project also includes the construction of 16 bridges, two viaducts and two tunnels with a combined length of 5.95km.

The sponsors of the project are RM Holding S.A.S, an infrastructure company owned by Ashmore I Colombia Infrastructure Fund, MC Victorias Tempranas S.A.S, a subsidiary of the Mercantil Colpatria Group, and Cintra Infraestructuras Colombia S.A.S, a subsidiary of Spanish developer Ferrovial. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors are Constructora Colpatria S.A and Ferrovial Agromán S.A.

Upon completion, the road will reduce travel time from Barrancabermeja to Bucaramanga from the current two hours and twenty minutes to approximately one hour. It is estimated that the infrastructure will directly benefit ten municipalities and 1.5 million inhabitants.

The project is one of the 40 projects that comprise the 4G programme - the Fourth Generation Toll Road Concession Programme (Cuarta Generación de Concesiones), currently the largest road infrastructure programme in Latin America, spanning 7,000km and requiring around COP47 trillion (US$16.5 billion) investment.

This is the fourteenth project in the programme to reach financial close. Two additional financial closes are expected to be achieved before the end of 2018, with a total of COP24 trillion (US$7.5 billion) committed to the programme.

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