SMBC to finance Magdalena river PPP

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SMBC to finance Magdalena river PPP

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Project company Navelena SAS has achieved financial close for the Magdalena River Waterway PPP project by means of a financing package provided by Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC). The total funding amount for the project reaches US$250 million.

Navelena, the construction consortium that will carry out dredging on the river to increase cargo capacity, is formed by the Brazilian engineering Odebretch (87%) and Colombia's Valorcon (13%).

In early November, we reported that, IDEAL and FCC Americas, part of billionaire Carlos Slim's Carso Group, declared their interest in taking over a majority stake in the project to improve transport on the Magdalena River in Colombia. However, thanks to SMBC's commitment, Odebrecht will be able to keep its majority stake in a the project.

As we also reported in early September, Navalena consortium partnered with Goldman Sachs in order to structure the financing of the Magdalena River Waterway PPP and achieve the financial closure.

The project, awarded, to the Navelena consortium in 2014, would be developed through the public-private partnership (PPP) model on design, build, finance, operation and maintenance (DBFOM) basis. It is estimated that construction work would take about six years. The total project investment is estimated at COP2500 billion (US$828.9 million).

Upon completion of the project, the river would have a depth of seven feet and could transport convoys of up to 7,200 tons (the equivalent of about 234 trucks). The river basin has a 27.3Mha surface area, equivalent to 24% of the country's continental territory.

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