Financial close reached for IJMuiden lock PPP in Amsterdam

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Financial close reached for IJMuiden lock PPP in Amsterdam This article is part of a daily series of MegaProjects articles. If you want to know more about PPP projects with a considerable size visit our MegaProjects section. You can receive them by email on a daily basis.

OpenIJ, the consortium composed of Royal BAM Group, Volker Wessels and DIF Infrastructure, has reached financial close for the  IJmuiden sea lock PPP project in the Netherlands. 

The total project investment is estimated at €740 million (US$839.5 million).

Europe's long-term investment institution will provide 33% of the debt financing for the project, alongside a consortium of banks including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, UniCredit Bank, DZ BANK and KfW IPEX-Bank, whereas Rabobank is providing an equity bridge facility. The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide €165 million (US$187.2 million) to support the project.

Consultants to the consortium included RBC and Houthoff Buruma. Consultants to the banks included JLT and Mazars. Herbert Smit Freehills with Linklaters provided legal advice to the banks. Mott MacDonald provided technical advice to the banks. Rijkswaterstaat was advised by PwC and Pels Rijcken & Drooglever Fortuijn.

This announcement comes after we reported, in late August, that the Dutch Highways and Waterways Agency (Rijkswaterstaat) and Consortium OpenIJ had achieved commercial closure for the project. The project is supported by the province of North Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam.

The team will be responsible for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the new lock during a concession period of 26 years. 

The current Noordersluis lock was built in 1929 and the new larger lock will ensure that the next generation of bulk carriers, container ships and cruise ships can continue to access the Port of Amsterdam and the North Sea Canal, and is expected to reduce waiting time for ships.

The new sea lock will be 500 m long, 70 m wide and 18 m deep and able to operate in all tides. The IJmuiden sea lock will support economic activity both along the North Sea canal and for companies using the Port of Amsterdam, Europe's fourth busiest port.

Construction activities will be carried out by a BAM Infra and VolkerWessels joint venture. The work will commence early 2016 with the new lock available for shipping at the end of 2019. The dredging activities will be carried out by subcontractors Van Oord and Boskalis.

Support for port investment in the Netherlands represents the second port largest engagement by the EIB in any European country. Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President, commented:

"90% of Europe's international trade passes through ports and upgrading the IJmuiden sea lock complex is crucial to ensuring the Port of Amsterdam's leading role. Amsterdam has more distribution centres than any other region in Europe and the port supports companies dependent on logistics across the Netherlands and northern Europe. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the upgrade of the strategically important IJmuiden locks alongside an impressive consortium of sponsors and project finance banks. This demonstrates the EIB's firm commitment to supporting Dutch infrastructure of national and international importance, following recent backing for upgrading Schiphol Airport and enlarging the Port of Rotterdam."

We have recently reported on several PPP projects in the EU:

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