Chinese-backed consortium closer to funding Colombian road

14 December 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

The SPV behind the Autopista al Mar 2 road project expects to raise more than USD 700m in debt by 1Q19 to fund the construction of the highway, Inframation understands.

Talks have advanced on an approximately 12-year USD 550m tranche, which will be split between lenders China Development Bank and SMBC.

Additionally, Colombia development bank FDN announced in July that it approved a 17-year credit facility of COP 500bn (USD 157m), the equivalent of 25% of the financing needs.

The transaction will be backed by availability payments called vigencias futuras denominated both in US dollars and local currency from the national government, in addition to cash flow from tolls once the highway becomes operational.

The SPV comprises Chinese company China Harbour Engineering Company (60%), and Colombian builders SP Ingenieros (20%), UNICA (15%) and Termotécnica Indsutrial (5%), according to the FDN release in July.

Structure Banca de Inversión is serving the sponsor as financial advisor.

Paul Hastings is the international legal advisor to the lenders, while Posse Herrera Ruiz is the local legal counsel.

Clifford Chance is the international legal counsel to the sponsors, while Brigard & Urrutia serves as local legal counsel.

With an estimated USD 650m in capex, the Autopista al Mar 2 project includes the construction of 11 tunnels and 59 bridges, in addition to building a 15.5km new road and revamping and rehabilitating 126km of existing highway.

In November 2015, Autopistas de Urabá signed with the national infrastructure agency (ANI) a 25-year PPP contract to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the 254km Autopista al Mar 2 toll road, which will connect Cañasgordas, Uramita, Dabeiba, Mutatá, El Tigre and Necoclí in the Antioquia Department.


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