Colombia toll road debt syndicate attracts Chinese, Japanese banks
Pamplona-Cucuta highway lenders include BOC, ICBC, Mitsubishi
20 May 2020 | Michael Marray

Projects are still reaching financial close in spite of the Covid-19 crisis and, in late April, one of the fourth-generation toll road projects in Colombia completed its first loan disbursement from a group of lenders that includes Chinese and Japanese banks.

Union Vial Rio Pamplonita, and its sponsors Sacyr Concesiones Colombia and Sacyr Concesiones Participadas I, signed two loans denominated in US dollars and Colombian pesos for the Pamplona-Cucuta highway.

The lenders on the US$391 million loan were Bank of China (Panama), Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (Dubai), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Deutsche Bank, Instituto de Credito Oficial de Espana, JPMorgan Chase, American Equity Investment Life Insurance, Metropolitan Life Insurance and Societe Generale, with Citibank acting as administrative agent, offshore collateral agent and intercreditor agent.

There was also a US$59 million equivalent loan in Colombian pesos from Financiera de Desarrollo Nacional, bringing the total to US$450 million.

The 62.2-kilometre toll road project will connect Colombia and Venezuela, as well as improving access to the northeast region of the country. Once completed, it will connect with the 4G Bucaramanga-Pamplona road. Colombia's National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) is developing the highway under the 4G highway programme.

At present, the project is in the construction stage, with total progress of 14%.

Madrid-based Sacyr Concesiones is ranked seventh in the world in terms of the amount of transport concessions under management. It is the fourth-largest greenfield infrastructure project developer in the world.

A consortium led by Sacyr companies recently completed the renovation of the Piramides-Tulancingo-Pachuca road in Mexico. This operation is a milestone in the consolidation of Sacyr Concessions in Mexico, marking the entry into service of its first road infrastructure project, which was awarded in August 2017.